Tag Archives: Robin Tunney

Mentalist Days of Wine and Roses Review


Synopsis

CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) works on solving the murder of Charlotte “Charlie” Coates (Michelle LaRue), a model who had been staying at a celebrity rehab facility. Meanwhile, Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) convinces judge Patricia Davis (Amy Aquino) to reopen the case of Amanda Shaw’s (Rhea Bailey ) death which was previously ruled as suicide. Convinced that Amanda’s boss Tommy Volker (Henry Ian Cusick) had her killed to keep her from testifying against him in another case, Lisbon subpoena’s the powerful billionaire’s financial records to find out who he hired as his hit man; incurring the man’s wrath.

Concise Verdict

Rebecca Perry Cutter’s second submission to the show is just as enjoyable as her first and even more solid. Lots of good dialogue and delicate handling of Lisbon’s story arc (which could have easily become melodramatic in less capable hands). But another chapter in the saga of the show’s newest all-powerful and ruthless antagonist Tommy Volker is not all this episode has to offer. The case of the week is just as interesting and the writer deftly balances both the A and B plot as well as showing how differently our heroes work their respective cases: Jane’s unique abilities versus Lisbon’s old fashioned police work. The presence of several talented and familiar guest stars help keep the perpetrator a mystery and the interest high. Finally, Baker and Tunney were never better at portraying their character’s camaraderie; inarguably one of this shows greatest assets. Another is its humor which we got plenty of here via fun interactions and the actors’ perfect comedic timing. Flawless direction, continuity, and foreshadowing also serve to make this one a winner. 9/10

Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)

I think what I liked most about this episode is how we got to see efficient Lisbon in action. It’s been a while.  We also got to see Jane at his best with a classic Jane trick so old I’d almost forgotten (and hence didn’t mind) he’d used it before; using the victim’s scent, seeing how a group of people responded to it, to discover which of her fellow addicts was her lover.

Finally, I may be suffering some humor withdrawal from this show and am hence desperate for the slightest bit of amusement but I literally laughed out loud several times during this episode. Seriously, was practically rolling on the floor with laughter so you’ll see a lot of “ROFL’s” and “XD” in this review.

VIS #1: Lisbon gets permission to look into Volker

Lisbon visits judge Davies asking for a warrant for Volker’s personal and financial records. The judge tells her that she has already ruled on that.

-This tells us that Lisbon has already been working on the case but that her previous attempts to open it failed.

Lisbon then recaps for the judge that she has new evidence; that a second autopsy report on Volker’s secretary ruled out the death as suicide. Lisbon contends that Vokler had Amanda, his secretary, killed because she was going to testify that he had a reporter killed to keep her from writing a story about his company’s involvement in a massacre of a South American village (If It Bleeds, It Leads). When the judge expresses surprise that Bertram agreed to a second autopsy Lisbon admits that she paid for it herself.

-Love the mention of Bertram (as I’m sure others will) as well as the continuity of him being a pragmatist who likes to avoid headaches (which the Volker case undoubtedly is).

The Judge asks Lisbon why she’s so hell bend on catching Volker. Lisbon tells her that she failed Amanda since she’d promised to protect her and instead got her killed.

-Also love how the judge’s question helped set up Lisbon’s stirring (and helpfully expository) speech; she feels responsible for Amanda’s death.

Teresa then reiterates the legitimacy of the evidence. The judge reminds her of the man’s status as the governor’s supporter and good friend to which Lisbon replies “that’s why I came to you because I know that you won’t be threatened by a man’s status or connections.”

-I wonder if Lisbon was serious here or if she’s using a trick from Jane and being subtly manipulative of the judge. I’m inclined to think she was just being direct and straightforward, as she employs the same method later.

VIS #2: Jane, Lisbon, and Dr. Ruben

Jane and Lisbon’s interview with Dr. Ruben, director of Oasis Ranch Rehab Facility made for both a humorous and informative scene.

1. When Ruben (Dennis Boutsikaris)  tells Jane he has a degree in psychiatry, Jane replies “Excellent” since it’s nearly always the psychiatrist that’s guilty.

-Great reference to the pilot and one of my favorite perps Dr. Linus Wagner. But the best is yet to come…

2. Ruben replies to Jane “Had a bad experience with therapy, huh.”

First of all, the (supremely talented) Boutsikaris’s reading of this line was perfect; a matter-of-fact tone and a quick rise of his eyebrows. Then there was Baker’s reaction to it. I laughed so hard at his stunned face and how he slowly turned to look at Lisbon. It was the funniest moment of the episode.

3. The doctor also says: “In fact we have so many high profile patients we are far more worried about keeping paparazzi and reporters out.” Truly excellent writing; the line seamlessly sets up a later scene when the undercover reporter is revealed.

4. When Jane assumes that the victim was in a relationship, Ruben replies: “We liken early sobriety to a whack-a-mole game. You push down one addiction and another one pops up.” Again, this paves the way for another plot thread. In this case, it helps to later explain the perp’s motive. But it also subtly alludes to one of this show’s themes…(to be discussed in further detail later).

5. Ruben continues to say: “Newly sober people tend to act out…sexually.”

We finally have it in canon, people. Jane needs to get rid of his RJ obsession to get back into dating game :p

VIS #3: Lisbon versus Volker

After Lisbon subpoenas Volker’s financials Grace finds out he’s paid a Charles Milk $25,000 on an irregular basis. Realizing they found his hit man Lisbon tells Grace to file a warrant to search Milk’s house. Before she gets it though, Volker visits her office. He tells her that if she wanted his financials all she had to do was ask; as he runs his business on transparency before asking her if she found anything. Lisbon replies:

“Why? Is there something you’re worried about?”

-Teresa rocks. Her melodic almost sing song voice in the face of Volker’s thinly veiled intimidation and his increasingly closing in on her personal space was beautiful.

Volker then tells her that she looks good.

-Lisbon’s face is carefully expressionless but the change of topic (and Vokler’s sudden appraisal) must have confused her.

The man quickly reveals the point behind his statement when he adds: “You’ve been working out.” Lisbon then orders him to get out of her office. When he leaves, Lisbon lowers her guard and appears very agitated.

-Translation: the sicko’s either been watching her or has one of his henchmen spying on her. His telling her that she looks good and that she’s been working out is him threatening her that he’s got his eyes on her.

VIS #4 Jane is Worried about Lisbon

Jane tells Lisbon he has an idea and asks her if she wants to go with him to the rehab facility. Lisbon tells him she’s waiting for a warrant on Charles Milk, Volker’s accomplice. The two then have the following conversation:

Jane: Bravo.

Lisbon: There is no way this guy is as smart and careful and Volker. I can turn him.

Jane: Excellent police work, Lisbon. I admire your pluck.

Lisbon: I hear a but.

Jane: No ‘but’ I’m just a little worried that he’s inside your head and believe me that’s not a good road to go down. Bad neighborhood.

Lisbon: I think you can understand I don’t really have a choice.

Jane: Well yeah, I can certainly understand that I just…I want you to be careful.

-Pretty straightforward. Also, divine. Simply divine display of deference. I love their obvious respect and regard here.

Lisbon assures Jane that Volker is not in her head, to which he replies that he hopes not. Jane also tells her to let him know if she needs his help. Lisbon replies: “No thanks, this one is mine”. Jane seems a bit out of sorts when he responds “Yeah, you got this”.

-Jane is obviously worried about Lisbon (aw!) here. But he also seems flummoxed at being sidelined in her quest to bring Volker down. It’s ironic, especially considering how she’s been practically forcing him to work on cases with her and how he’s been telling her she needs to learn how to work without him. But it’s not long before she confides in him…

Jane is present when Grace tells Lisbon that judge Davies denied their request for a warrant. Later, Lisbon again declines joining Jane at the rehab center, apologizing and telling him she’ll catch up later, avoiding his gaze. Jane surmises that since it’s a Thursday night that Lisbon is going to her regular poker game to try to get one of the judges who attend to sign the warrant for Milk’s place. Lisbon replies “It’s worth a shot,” before admitting she doesn’t know what she’ll do if the plan doesn’t work.

-I love how Lisbon didn’t want to reveal her plan, almost like she was ashamed of her last resort. Then there’s how pouty she seemed; petulant Lisbon how I love thee. But I think the best part was Jane telling her that they’ll think of something. I know a few fans felt that he was less than supportive the last time she had a run –in with Volker (to be fair, he was just absent). Seeing them working in tandem here must therefore be reassuring. It certainly is beautiful.

VIS #5: Lisbon and Judge Manchester

Once again we get to see Lisbon in action. She straight out asks a judge for a warrant. Manchester’s already heard about her dilemma from Davies who cited her nerve. When Lisbon says that she was upset Manchester tells her that she doesn’t need to apologize to him. Lisbon retorts that she’s not and that judge Davies was wrong; that somebody has to bring in Volker, even if it’s not her. Manchester tells her: “Sometimes you are childishly naïve, Teresa.” Lisbon retorts that it’s better than defeated cynicism. His “ouch” reveals that she’d hit him where it hurts and follows up by imploring him to sign the warrant; that the only reason not to is fear.

-So we’ve finally gotten some continuity on Lisbon’s poker nights with the high-profiled officials Mancini introduced her to. I wonder if this new edge Lisbon has was the only point to that plot thread. Does that mean we won’t see Mancini again?

VIS #6: Johanna’s Confession

The victim’s therapist, Johanna (Amy Pietz) explains how her alcohol addiction (which she’d previously mentioned to Jane) was replaced with Blackjack.  She tells Rigsby that she paid her massive debts by borrowing money from “bad people” who were going to hurt her if she didn’t pay them back. Her patient Charlie confided that she’d stolen the necklace from her parents and wanted to give it back to them. But Johanna then stole it from Charlie and killed her in a neighborhood where drugs were scored, knowing people would think she’d gotten killed for her addiction. At Rigsby’s outrage of the bad legacy Johanna left for her patient, she says: “I’m powerless. It’s a disease.”

-Once again, we come across a perp who denies the accountability of their actions (Blood and Sand is the first my memory recalls). But unlike in Blood and Sand where the perp went so far as to live in a an island, on an all male ranch in an attempt to quell his predatory sexual urges, Johanna here is nowhere near as sympathetic. I wonder if there’s a reason for showing us the perpetrators in what seems to be an attempt at humanizing them (i.e. Lorelei). I had a few theories (mentalizing us for something godawful Jane would do) but am now at a loss on if all the instances are intentional or not. Where does one draw the line? Johanna here was a therapist. She could have gotten help from someone else. She could have told the police that her life was in danger instead of killing Charlie for the money her parent’s necklace would have provided. All I can say is I’m ever-more interested in hearing what RJ’s story would be…

Best Lines

“Saying it does not make it so.” Judge Davies to Lisbon. Glad someone’s finally stated that on this show. Although I don’t think anyone will try explaining that to Jane; lost cause.

“Lisbon you’re distracted and you have an eager gleam in our eye. Either you have a breakthrough in the Volker case, or you’re in love. Which is it?” Jane, I love you. Also, shut up. You’re torturing the shippers XD.

“I was hoping it was love. You deserve happiness but I’m glad for you anyway.” –Jane, to Lisbon after she tells him Davis signed the warrant. Yes she does, Jane. Also, all the shippers are now wondering if you’re making a tacit offer.

“She was shy. And sensitive. Like the volume was turned up too high in her head.” Victim’s mother, to Jane and Lisbon. Great description.

“Stella! Sweetheart, you look like an angry stick insect. Think of Brazil. Or whatever country you’re from.” Clarkson the photographer to a model.

“Uruguay!” – the indignant Stella in response to the above.

“Uruguay! Work it! Yeah you’re a dirty little Cossack!” ROFL!!! XD This dialogue was completely stereotypical, but hilariously so.

“Had a bad experience with therapy, huh.” Again, Jane’s expression at the doctor’s line here was so priceless.

“We liken early sobriety to a whack a mole game. You push down one addiction and another one pops up.” Solid gold writing right here.

 “I know I can’t make someone stop before they are ready.” – Johanna to Jane, on addiction. Don’t we (and Lisbon) know it. This almost felt like the writer’s were talking to us about our favorite Mentalist.

“I don’t need a chaperone.” Jane, to Lisbon. Her subsequent scoff followed by his escape was great.

“Hey Cho, you’re freaking out the guests. Just relax with the cop-ness.” Jane, to robo-cop Cho.

“I’m relaxed.” – Cho rocks.

“I was just kidding, he wasn’t actually sleeping with her- CHO! Cho!” Jane, trying (and failing) to break up a fight he started before calling Cho to the rescue.

“Jane as in Austen or Mansfield?” undercover journalist, to Jane on how his name is spelled.

“Austen.” Jane’s expression, almost insulted when he replies is interesting and amusing. The prim reaction certainly fits more with Austen.

“Mansfield. Please!” Jane’s indignation is expressed even more clearly when reveals Suzie’s real identity; scoffing at how she could doubt the spelling of his name to be that of Jayne Mansfield’s. Again, probably because he has more in common with Austen :p

“What self-respecting speed freak drinks herbal tea?” Jane, to Margaret, in response to how he found out she wasn’t a the addict she claims she is.

“So mysterious. Let me see, Thursday night you’re going to play poker. Ah get one of those mucks to sign to sign your warrant.” –Jane, reading Lisbon.

“You and your fancy diagnosis. People want stuff, they take it. It’s as simple as that.” Jane, to Dr. Ruben. Could this be the start of a beautiful relationship? God knows Jane could use a therapist.

“It’s not your fault. There is nothing to be ashamed of.” Johanna, to Jane on his (fake) kleptomania.

Best Scenes

This was so, so difficult to choose. The entire episode was fabulous but here are my favorites:

Second Runner up: Cho and Rigsby arrest the photographer Clarkson.

I loved the wonderfully stereotypical discussion between the photographer Clarkson (Hal Ozsan) and his model Stella (see above quotes). Then there’s how he later immediately tells Cho and Rigsby “It’s hers!” about the drugs he was carrying even before they were found; which Rigsby points out to him before he finds them. Cho’s subsequent “You’re under arrest” was awesome.

First Runner Up: Jane admits to being a kleptomaniac

This scene was hilarious. Jane getting caught in the act of stealing leads to Johanna and Dr. Ruben sitting down with him and trying to get into his head. Ruben asks how it started and Jane tells him his father taught him how to pick pockets. Ruben then tells him that “subconsciously” he’s still trying to please his father. Jane feigns an epiphany, agrees, then asks Ruben “how do you do that, that is uncanny”. A sympathetic Lisbon then goes “Jane…” before she is interrupted by a phone call. She hangs up and tells Jane that they just found a ruby necklace in his car and asks if he wants to explain that. A shamefaced Jane replies “Not really.” Ruben then tells Jane that he should definitely continue therapy and gives him two thumbs up. Jane thanks him and says “I feel better already,” closing his hands into fists.

-ROFL! Now we’ve seen Jane fake epiphanies before but this time is nevertheless priceless.  Simply brilliant! Flawless acting by all involved. I don’t know how they kept a straight face through it all; I would have died laughing XD.

The Winner: Jane tells Lisbon to be careful.Cause sweet, caring Jane is a balm to my soul. Also, see VIS #4 above.

Image by Chizurubi-chibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2013. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizurubi-chibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2013. Not to be used without permission.

Icings on the Cake

 Detective Jane: Really loved seeing how Jane’s mind worked to solve the case this time. His miss’s were just as revealing as his hits. First noticing the expensive single malt whisky; which made him realize the victim’s wallet was stolen. Wrongly assuming Joanna smoked, which led him to conclude she spent time in a smoky room (casino). Wrongly assuming the herbal tea belonged to Charlie the model, when her roommate corrected him that it was hers, helping his conclusion that she’s an undercover reporter. Then there was him discussing the case with Lisbon, telling her that the real motive for the crime was the ruby necklace. I’m going to have to re-watch a few episodes to be sure (readers feel free to correct me) but it seems like it’s been so long (like since season one and two) that we’ve actually seen Jane discuss the case on-screen with Lisbon. It is always nice to be privy to these break-downs rather than imagine what they looked like.

Bashful Jane avoids the grateful parents. Love this continuity.

Honorable Mentions

Kudos to Rebecca Perry Cutter on a very well written episode.

Eric Laneuville’s direction is as wonderful as always. Especially the scene with Lisbon and Volker in her office. Just the right notes of creepy.

The acting was truly was superior from all involved:

Hal Ozsan’s was comedy gold. Dennis Boutsikaris was as well but in a more restrained understated manner, as required by his character.

Amy Pietz (whom I’ve been a fan of ever since she told Brass in CSI “I don’t like you”) was honestly the least person I suspected of being the perp. Her performance was so cleverly unobtrusive.

Mary Lynn Rajskub was as effective as her fans know her to be.

Henry Ian Cusick is very convincing as the intimidating Tommy Volker A good thing too or viewers may not have been able to take the character seriously as an antagonist.

Kang and Yeoman’s scenes keep getting better and better. “Chigsby” will always be a fan-favorite pairing.

Finally, Baker and Tunney were both pure joy to watch. You can just tell that they had fun acting in this episode.

Conclusion

Lisbon tells Jane she finally got the warrant to search Milk’s home. He congratulates her once more on having police work prevail. Her joy is short-lived, however. On route to the man’s home she gets a call from a smug Volker, telling her that she won’t find anything. Lisbon then gets a call from Grace who states that they’re too late. Lisbon arrives at a crime scene to find Milk shot along with a married couple. An officer tells her that it seems like a random gang hit. But Lisbon knows better. Jane joins her with a concerned “Lisbon?” the agent then tells him that she needs his help.

-I wonder what type of “help” Lisbon is looking for from Jane. Hopefully it’s just (legal?) mentalism to catch the billionaire. But I wouldn’t count on it. More than anything else, the purpose of this episode seemed to be tacitly setting up Volker as a super evil genius too smart to be caught. Sigh. At least the writers did their homework by having Lisbon (seemingly) exhaust all legal options. I hope this continues to be the case. Just because Milk is dead doesn’t mean CBI can’t use the warrant they got to search his house. They might find something useful there. Although, the title of this episode isn’t very encouraging. It’s a reference to Lemmon’s film with an identical name. I haven’t seen this particular movie but here’s its synopsis from IMDB:

An alcoholic falls in love with and gets married to a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his “passion” together.

There goes my ulcer ;_;

I’ve been saying it since season three. Jane wants Lisbon to come around to his views the better to be able to relate/get along with him. But how far is he willing to have her go? My one glimmer of hope is his concern about Lisbon in this episode when he told her: I’m just a little worried that he’s inside your head and believe me that’s not a good road to go down. Bad neighborhood.

Could Jane, who all this time seemed to be wanting Lisbon to be more like him, actually save her from that very fate?

My Cynic is laughing at me. I’ll be banging my head against my laptop hoping for the best and intermittently praying that Lisbon’s character doesn’t get ruined for me. That is, when I’m not hanging over the toilet.

Note: In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m prone to hyperbole. Next episode’s Little Red Corvette trailer looks pretty awesome. Can’t wait for next Sunday to (hopefully) put me out of my misery. Also, congratulations to Amanda Righetti on her new baby boy!!

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Mentalist Panama Red


Synopsis

The California Bureau of Investigations new case is the murder of Jeremy Reese, a botanist, in Clearlake. Suspicion first falls on his boss, whom CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Baker) and Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) learn he’d had an argument with. But the case is complicated by the fact that Reese was working two jobs: one at an organic marijuana farm owned by Matthew Gold (Troy Ruptash), and another coming up with a new strain of marijuana at a high tech lab. Meanwhile, Cho’s first time helping out Agent Tamsin Wade (Monique Gabriela Curnen) in the newly established Rapid Response Team at CBI has him running into an old flame.

Concise Verdict

Panama Red is one of my new favorite episodes this season. The case was interesting and had lots of good old fashioned Mentalist humor. The guest stars are great, including not one, but *three* recurring characters. The direction is perfection and there is plenty of continuity. The music is sublime at times, playfully flirty at others.  And the performances…well, let’s just say the actors gave us a subtext party in this one. And it is all thanks to the script. Like Grossenbacher before him (who sadly has criminally only given one entry to this show so far) Michael Weiss’s foray into the Mentalist world was such that, by the time it was over, I was literally breathless with happiness. Welcome, Mr. Weiss. You’ve officially been brained. Which hopefully isn’t as painful as it sounds. At least, not this time: 9.5/10.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

Some pretty heavy flailing is about to commence. You’ve been warned.

Jane SMILES!

LISBON IS BADASS!

Both Cho AND Rigsby get a prominent role in this episode!

It’s back. My favorite show is back!!!

;_;

This has been a stellar season thus far, but also, an increasingly dark one. Just to be clear, I love the RJ plot as much as any other fan (or at least, I used to) but I completely and humbly disagree that the show should end with him getting caught (as seems to be where the show is headed). Episodes like this flaunt one of the show’s greatest assets: it’s freaking fun! Sure, it’s nice to have a run in with the Big Red every once in a while but Jane’s obsession doesn’t exactly make for easy viewing. And The Mentalist has always been a humorous show despite its dark premise. I’ve really missed it. Too much Red made me blue and I actually felt my heart break a little one episode at a time. Even Lisbon’s new plot with Vokler, while exciting, is depressing. An all powerful billionaire who wiped out an entire village and mercilessly watched as the only lead against him was choked to death? Ugh. Not even Black Cherry written by the comic genius Erica Green Swafford could bring me out of my funk. But getting two subsequent stand alone episodes seems to have done the trick. That, and the fact that Lisbon’s character remains successful not only in getting Jane more involved in the cases, but in regaining some of her long abandoned authority.

Teaser

Take the beginning of this episode. Jane doesn’t show up for work. And when Lisbon calls him telling him he shouldn’t obsess like this, Jane tells her “I know I met Red John now, shook his hand.”

-Now I know the moment was graciously included to recap for viewers who may have missed an episode and subsequently where Jane’s at with his hunt for his family’s killer. But for us regulars, I found myself taking a page out of Charlotte’s book and thinking “I’m so over Red John”. Seriously, it’s more than I can handle not going back and re-watching all the episodes from the beginning to see which characters Jane shook hands with without being constantly tortured with this new clue. Thank god for the fact that the act didn’t necessarily have to have happened on screen, or us viewers would all probably become as obsessed as Jane is.

Lisbon tells Jane that they have a new case. And when he tries to distract her saying that she’s the one obsessing, she says she’ll text him the address and hangs up.

-Lisbon, acting like Jane’s boss, which she is, might be the best way to help him. If not for his sake, then for hers. It’s not like the Serious Crimes Unit can focus only on one case. And getting Jane out of his black perch can only be healthy.

Jane and the Victim Jeremy

We get to see the victim Jeremy through the eyes of his college professor Alice Burns (Susan Gibney) and very quickly a parallel is drawn between the two, the least of which being that both their names (that people called them with anyway) start with a J. Some were obviously intentional, others not so much, but I included all for fun.

First, Alice tells Jane and Lisbon that while Jeremy worked in a pot farm, he didn’t smoke. It was simply an exciting research opportunity and a “good use for his skills”.

-This is kind of like Jane, who doesn’t always (if ever) believe in the law, but working at the CBI is a good way to apply his own talents.

We then learn that Jeremy had an argument with his boss but that he didn’t tell Alice what it was about, which she explains by saying “Jeremy could be secretive.”

-Baker is in top form here and makes interesting choices with his character which we’re able to witness due to director Guy Ferland’s generous direction. You see Jane’s eyes dart to Lisbon whom we are shown in the next shot. I guess it could be possible that Jane couldn’t help staring at Lisbon’s beautiful profile, but it’s more likely that Jane wanted to see her reaction at Alice’s words since secretive is (used to be?) such a perfect description of his own personality. But there’s nothing to see there. Lisbon doesn’t react to the statement.

When Lisbon asks if Jeremy had any enemies Alice says no adding “He was kind and generous to a fault.”

-Again, these words are perfect descriptions of Jane as well, although sadly it’s been a while since we’ve been treated to those traits; they’ve either been too fleeting or he’s been too busy chasing RJ.

Alice then explains her relationship with Jeremy to Jane saying that they were “pretend family” since his mother died a few years ago and her son lives in Texas.

-Here, the comparison goes further to encompass Jane’s relationships as well: His family is dead while Lisbon’s lives in another state. It’s been established since season three that she considers him family and the theme was also alluded to several times this season.

Rigsby the Green-Eyed Monster

Looks like we have a new love triangle on the show to replace the Grace-Craig -Rigsby one. And once again, poor Rigsby is the victim.

When Agent Tamsin Wade (Monique Gabriela Curnen) comes into the Serious Crimes to tell Cho (newest member of her Rapid Response team) that they’re up to bust a counterfeiting operation, Rigsby chimes in to tell her that they have work to do. The woman snarks “I’ll have him back in a few hours, dad” to which Rigsby responds: “If you’re the rapid response team, shouldn’t you be sliding down fire poles not hanging around here for thirty minutes?”

Snap!

Someone doesn’t like Wade very much. The question is why?

It could be her general playful demeanor, which by some might be taken as haughty. When she walks in she calls them “Ladies”. But we know that it was a joke and Cho didn’t seem upset, so why should Rigsby be?

I think that, as close as the CBI team is, Rigsby resents the fact that Tamsin insinuated herself so easily within them. Especially considering how reserved Cho usually is. Or it could be Rigsby fears she’s angling to have Cho join her team. Or maybe he’s just jealous she didn’t ask him to join the team. Whatever it is, as much as I thought I might like Wade in the previous episode, I don’t blame Rigsby for not being more open to her. Yes, she seems very cool. But she seems to be very aware of the fact too.  Then there’s something about the way she tells Cho “I squared it with your cute boss.”

I’m all for mentioning how adorable Lisbon is. Heck, Jane, too. It’s just not realistic to not have more people point out how attractive they are (although, writers are getting better at pointing this out i.e. If it Bleeds, it Leads). But something about the way Tamsin said that line didn’t sit right with me. I wasn’t sure what until a later scene helped me out…

Cho, Summer and Tamsin Wade

During the bust, Cho runs into his former confidential informant (and secret lover) Summer Edgecombe. Pregnant, and in town for her wedding, she tells Cho she had nothing to do with the operation; was just going on a ride with her friend.

As much as I liked Summer I always questioned if she and Cho were really good together. It’s hard to know what to make of her at times. Like in this episode. I honestly couldn’t tell if she was lying or not when she told Cho that she had no idea what her counterfeiting friend Chuck (James Jordan) was up to when he asked her to come along with him. I mean, seriously? Then there’s the fact that Summer seemed oblivious to Cho’s ambivalence (pain?) at seeing her pregnant and engaged.  Rigsby’s words to Cho, that he dodged a bullet when he let her get away, represent what some viewers might think. Tougher viewers might even agree with Tamsin’s decision to charge Summer, despite Cho insisting that she should let her go and that she’s innocent; not the accomplice of the counterfeiters.

I have to disagree at least with the last. Even if by that point I wasn’t sure that I completely bought Summer’s story (she’s lied before), I felt Wade was being unnecessarily hard on her. Simply put, there was no evidence against Summer. She was standing outside a garage where a crime was being committed? So what?

Wade telling Cho she heard Summer was a lot more than just his CI made my earlier reservation with her comment kick in again. Could it be that Tamsin was jealous? That she arrested Summer to flex her muscles against Cho’s former CI and see what his reaction would be?

Maybe. She’s obviously into Cho for reasons beyond needing him in her new unit. If that’s true then maybe her mentioning Cho’s boss was cute earlier was also meant as a test. She wants to see how available he is.

Cho knows Summer enough to fight for her freedom. When Wade refuses to listen to him, Cho takes matters into his own hands. He finds Chuck, the perpetrator who escaped the bust, and gets him to make a deal with, of all people, ADA Osvaldo Ardiles (David Norona).

Regular viewers will remember the charismatic Osvaldo and Cho’s last run in didn’t go too well. But it seems like the air got cleared completely since then. Chuck agrees to testify for Osvaldo in exchange for immunity and Summer’s freedom.

This doesn’t go over well with the over zealous Agent Wade. She admonishes Cho for going behind her back and when he apologizes and says it won’t happen again, she replies “You got that right”.

I wonder if her statement was referring to Cho’s role in her team (was she dis-inviting his services?), or if it was her way of throwing water on any sparks that might be between them, or both.  At her displeasure, you can’t help but wonder if Cho thinks he did the right thing; if Summer had been worth it.

Thankfully, he doesn’t wonder for long. While the former call-girl had been known to lie in the past, she wasn’t in this episode. Summer drives up in her wedding limousine with her fiance to introduce him to Cho, thank him, and say good bye.

It’s a very, very sweet scene that I think explains a lot of Summer’s character. The way she was able to quickly move on from Cho (So Long and Thanks for all the Red Snapper was only 12 episodes ago, and she’s eight months pregnant) isn’t so much due to lack of feeling as much as it is due to her innocent nature. I’m glad we got to meet her husband (to be) as it shows us what kind of man she needed: stable, patient, grounded. Cho’s own hidden well of passionate emotion (displayed in the altercation which led to their separation) shows that he’s perhaps not as well equipped to handle her. But her husband, whom Summer won’t kiss Cho on account that he gets “crazy-jealous” (hyperbole I believe/hope), seems to have been able to temper her somewhat, in a good way. Seeing her so happy, seeing Cho smile, obviously happy for her, just melted my old cynical heart.

Sigh. What an awesome episode.

But we get one last treat before it ended.

Lisbon Rebels

Lisbon, about to leave her office, is looking for her keys when Jane shows up and tells her they’re on her desk. Lisbon spots the puzzle box which the victim had made and only Jane knows how to open. The man gives her a barely contained grin, obviously looking forward to Lisbon’s inability to open the box and him sweeping in and “rescuing” her by opening the box for her. To Jane’s dismay, Lisbon takes a hammer from inside her desk and smashes the box open. Jane is shocked and disturbed. “You keep a hammer in your desk?!”

Lisbon then utters the best line of the entire episode:

“You only think you know everything about me.”

Seriously, how beautiful was that? You go, girl. And Jane’s reaction was awesome.

Best Scenes

This was so hard to decide this time around. The entire episode was crazy enjoyable, start to finish, but these were my favorites; please share yours in the comments.

The winner: Lisbon and Jane question Alice Burns

I chose this one because of its beautifully moving music, the riveting acting of guest star Susan Gibney (she almost made me cry when she stops to collect herself in one scene) and the reactions to her that Jane was allowed to have. One example is when Jane surmises that Alice is ill and asks her “What are you sick with?”

Simon Baker killed me with his tone here. Remember the Jane that used to care about things besides Red John? He still exists. His gentle, soft, CARING questioning (like in the pilot with Juniper) is what makes him a fantastic mentalist, and (in my humble opinion) an especially likable and special character. Cause otherwise, he’s just House. Who is a total jerk. And while Jane can be an even bigger jerk, it is not the only aspect of his personality.

It could be that Jane’s demeanor with Alice here is due to the fact that she didn’t make the mistake of pushing his buttons. Or that he was behaving himself in an attempt to get back on Lisbon’s good side. Or that Alice was already cooperating so he didn’t need to rile her up. Regardless of the reason, we desperately need more of ‘kind’ Jane as opposed to Jane the jerk. It is just not realistic for all the people Jane questions to be idiots or sleazes who deserve (in his opinion anyway) to be played. It really is okay if some, like Alice here, actually bring out the best side of him. More than okay. It’s gold.

Speaking of gold, I just want to add how much I appreciated the scene ending on Jane’s face as he strokes the trick box. Baker’s face is wonderfully expressive; you can just see him thinking about all the methods he’ll enjoy using trying to open it. Sensitive, inquisitive, amused…I love this Jane. I miss this Jane, dammit.

First Runner Up: Cho and Summer say goodbye…again. 

Again, this was such a sweet, hopeful, scene that I couldn’t help but love it. Summer looks absolutely adorable in her little white wedding dress. And Cho looks very happy for her. His dimple actually shows as he smiles at her and tells her goodbye and good luck. Then, as the couple is driven off, his smile falls, you can’t help but wonder if he doesn’t feels a tiny bit of regret too. The lovely music is wonderfully appropriate to the emotions: simultaneously uplifting and bittersweet.

Second Runner Up: Rigsby Gets High

First of all I loved the continuity of Rigsby being a great sport and going undercover. This scene was reminiscent of one of this shows best episodes, the classic Red Hair and Silver Tape. Once again, Jane and Lisbon sit in a hotel room watching Rigsby on camera. In the aforementioned episode, it was doubly amusing since he was obviously crushing on his acting partner of the time, Grace. In Panama Red, the laughs come from the fact that Rigsby has to smoke some weed to pull off his act. The results are hilarious. Yeoman was fantastic as were Tunney and Baker.

Honorable Mentions

Casting was really great in this one. From Nicole Bilderback and Jack Laufer to Micheal Whaley as Elwood and James Jordan as Chuck. They were all perfect for their roles and helped keep the interest level high in scenes that might have been boring with lesser talent.

I particular enjoyed the delivery of Micheal Whaley. He was impressive as the no-nonsense security guard and had good comedic timing as well.

Susan Gibney stood out the most, however. With an easy, beautiful, ironic smile that lights up her whole face and a wry delivery that made her character exceedingly likable, she was an absolute delight.

Samaire Armstrong (who really is pregnant!) was charming as well. She was very convincing as the misunderstood, free-spirited Summer finally settling down once she found the love of her life.

David Norona’s Osvaldo Ardiles continues to be a welcome presence on this show. I just hope he doesn’t disappear like that other ADA Nicki; Mozhan Marno’s character.

Tim Kang as the strong, mostly silent Cho never fails to impress. But he is equally riveting when he lets his character’s emotions show every once in a while; his smile is especially powerful. It’s like unleashing a secret weapon on viewers; you keep forgetting he has one.

As talented a director as Baker might be, he truly shines as an actor and this episode gave us so much Baker-candy in the form of his acting prowess. It has been so long since we saw him play something other than manipulative and/or obsessed (see….well, entire review for more details) and I was completely riveted to his every expression. It doesn’t hurt that he never looked better too.

Like Baker, Yeoman’s comedic talent has also been in hiding for a while now. I loved seeing it emerge so beautifully in this episode. I literally laughed out loud in the scene he got high.

Guy Ferland’s direction makes the most out of the fantastically talented (and beautiful) cast and catches their best moments. We were given many reaction shots, but deftly so without them being shoved in our faces. At times it almost felt like I was standing right next to team. Grace’s screen time was  understandably limited- the actress’s pregnancy is getting harder to hide but the shots she was in were very well done.

Blake Neely’s beautiful tunes are, as always, the perfect accompaniment to this show. It’s been a while since an episode made me tear up both in sadness (Jane questioning Alice), and happiness (Cho/Summer end scene) and the music had a lot to do with that. As we say on twitter: #gratitude

Last, but certainly not least, is writer Michael Weiss. If I knew his address I’d send him a basket of flowers. His interesting and fun script truly made my day.

Icings on the Cake

–  Rigsby eating is one of my favorite things in the world.

– Jane trying to get Lisbon to eat is another.

– I liked Cho pulling Lisbon from where blood was dripping; mostly cause I heart their friendship but also because it almost felt symbolic.

– Jane is on his couch again. My favorite canon pairing ever.

-Jane asks Matthew Gold how he can get weed. When Gold tells Jane he gets in their co-op if he has a condition they can help with, Lisbon nods at Gold, glancing at Jane, with an “Oh, yeah he does” expression on her face. The moment is priceless. Now I doubt Jane would dull his mind with weed, but the mere thought is hilarious.

-Like guest reviewer P said, I too find the recurring characters fascinating and love seeing them, or just hearing about them from time to time. I won’t even pretend the fact that this episode had so many of didn’t have me flailing.

-It was nice seeing Lisbon in action questioning Elwood. Her “cop to cop” line established common ground between them which allowed the man to share some information. But it’s not enough as as he later tells her she needs a court order “cop to cop”. Michael Whaley’s reading of the line was really great, as was Tunney’s “busted” expression afterwards.

-Rigsby helps Cho find and arrest Chuck, to help Summer, even if he never approved of their relationship. Bro-love anyone? Seriously, who doesn’t love Chigsby.

Best Lines

“I have what you coppers call ‘a lead’.” -Jane, to Lisbon.

“Hanging some buds.” -Lisbon repeating what Gold said, clearly unimpressed with marijuana farming. Tunney’s reading was awesome.

“Well, someone’s gotta do it.” – Jane, in reply to the above. Baker’s little hitch was fantastic too.

“Patrick Jane, a consultant. This isn’t my boss.” Jane, introducing himself and Lisbon.  I’m willing to bet Jane just said this to rile Lisbon up, and/or see if she takes the bait.

“I’m Teresa Lisbon and I am his boss.”-Lisbon, giving her own introduction in response to Jane. She does take his bait, but I’m glad of it. It’s nice to know she remembers her place.

“Wow.” -Rigsby’s repeated response to seeing Summer, pregnant and engaged.

“You said that.” -Cho, in response to the above.

“It’s not yours is it?” Rigsby, to Cho, about Summer’s fetus.

“Police brutality! I’m not resisting!” Chuck when Cho takes him down. Hilarious. Especially since moments before the guy beat up Cho with a heavy wooden stick when he tried to arrest him.

“It’s always something with you guys. I wasn’t looking forward to prosecuting a pregnant woman anyway.” – Osvaldo Ardiles, when he realized why Cho wants Summer freed. Love the continuity on Ardiles’s wariness when it comes to the SCU.

“Could you pass the cheese, this is getting good.”-Jane.

“Say what you will about hippies. They throw a good funeral.” -Alice, to Jane.

“Boss is it okay if I sit down?” Rigsby, on weed, to Lisbon.

“You are sitting down Rigsby.” -Lisbon, in response to the above.

“Thank you Kimball. I promise I won’t bug you anymore. I’m going to be good.” -Summer. Aw! :’-)

“You keep a hammer in your desk?!” Jane, to Lisbon. Baker’s reading of this line was priceless. As are his facial expressions. Seeing Jane look disappointing, flummoxed, maybe even a little scared (of Lisbon) was just such a treat to watch.

Image by Chizuruchib. Copyright Reviewbrain Dec. 2012. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchib. Copyright Reviewbrain Dec. 2012. Not to be used without permission.

Awww!! XD

Pet Peeves

The botany/marijuana lingo was just a wee bit confusing as was the switch in the end. Also, I’d pegged Gold as the killer all along, though, for the life of me, I can’t tell why.

Conclusion

I’ve talked about how enjoyable this episode was ad-infinitum. Now it’s time to talk about how important it was.

Trust continues to prevail as a popular theme in this show. Tamsin Wade says she needs to know that she can trust Cho, which she can’t because he went behind her back to the DA. The thing is, while she trusted him enough to add him to her Rapid Response team, she still wouldn’t to take his word that Summer wasn’t involved.

Meanwhile, Cho trusts Rigsby enough to go with him and find Chuck, the guy that escaped the Rapid Response team’s raid, even though Rigsby isn’t involved in the case.

Summer loves her fiancee Marshall but doesn’t trust the knowledge that she was a call girl won’t ruin their relationship. It’s not unlike Jane who (still?) keeps things he feels might affect his relationship with Lisbon hidden from her. But while Summer changed her life, Jane has been actively trying to change Lisbon. While Jane needing someone to understand him has previously been noted as a possible reason for his “grooming” of Lisbon, we now have more information that might further support this theory

In this episode, at the victim’s service, when Jane tells Alice that he managed to open the victim’s puzzle box, she tells him, “He would have loved that you figured that out. He didn’t have a lot of people that could play at his level.” To which Jane replies, “Yeah, well it’s a curse some people live with.”

I’ve said it about Jane before: genius is a lonely place. But by grooming Lisbon, maybe it won’t be.

Jane also seems to want Lisbon to trust that everything will be all right in the end.

Lest people think this episode was a random stand alone, the writer had Jane say the following:

“You seem very obsessed with evaluating our status. Good, bad. We’re alive. The guy that made this (puzzle box) is dead. By comparison I think we’re doing very well.”

Whoa, mama! What a loaded sentence. Anyone else think that just maybe Jane is talking about more than just the case here? Lisbon sure thinks so, if her withering look to Jane is anything to go by.

Methinks Jane knows how much Lisbon is worrying about his RJ obsession, hence his use of the word, and is annoyed that this worry is manifesting itself in her being more strict with him.

Of course, Lisbon has other reasons for her changed demeanor. Season four saw Lisbon, overjoyed at Jane not being convicted, appreciating him, indulging him, and basically going along with whatever he did. But giving Jane all the leeway he wanted still didn’t get him to share his plans with Lisbon before he did his disappearing act. Nor did he tell her about his “relationship” with Lorelei, so it’s only realistic for her to revert to her no-nonsense boss-lady methods. If this is true, then it establishes a new theme for this season: Lisbon rebelling against Jane’s influence over her. This is symbolized by her breaking open the trick box instead of asking Jane to open it for her, as he obviously wanted her too. Like Jane’s earlier speech to Lisbon, it was a humorous moment but is also laced with some pretty serious subtext which reveals itself when Lisbon tells Jane he only thinks he knows everything about her.

I’ve always said Lisbon is more mysterious than Jane which is a particularly clever move on Heller’s part. If we are to remain suspenseful as to what will happen when RJ is ever found, we, like Jane, have to remain in the dark as to how she’ll act. How both of them will act, really. Either Jane will give in and let Lisbon arrest RJ, or Lisbon will help Jane get his revenge. Either way, having Lisbon, once again, be more than just Jane’s side-kick helps achieve that. The fact that genius Jane is still in the dark about aspects of Lisbon’s character keeps the show fresh and interesting.

Author’s Note: As always, thanks for reading. Please don’t forget to rate the review and share your own opinions in the comments. As we approach the end of another year I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this fantastic community of fans we’ve been blessed with. You are all fantastic and I love you. Be sure to come back on the 25th as Violet has a Christmas present for you all which I’ll post here. Or, simply “follow’ the blog to get an email the moment it is posted. Happy holidays!

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Mentalist Black Cherry Review


This review is brought to you by P, a commenter of this blog who agreed to write the post since neither Violet or I were able to. I must say I’m feeling quite humbled by my guest reviewers; first Violet, now P :) Be sure to rate to express how fantastic the review is. -Reviewbrain

Synopsis

Lem McVie (Brandon Claybon), a young real estate agent, is found beaten to death on a country club golf course.   The team discovers that he is an ex-gang member who had turned his life around and reinvented himself two years earlier to set a better example for his younger siblings.  Was his death the result of his old gang ties, or somehow related to his new, seemingly respectable life?  Meanwhile, Jane continues his search for Red John based on his new belief that they have met.

Concise Verdict

I found this episode a welcome break after the very intense episodes we have been given recently.  Jane seemed the happiest and most engaged he’s been in quite a while, the classic Lisbon-Jane banter that has been absent lately was back in full force, and we even got a few Cho centric scenes thrown in for good measure.   The case itself was interesting and well developed, and the writers managed to slip in references to the larger Red John arc without distracting from the current investigation. There were even nods to some recurring themes, such as the conflict between the law and justice.  What else can you really ask for?  9/10

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

I loved this episode.  Banter, Cho, clever lines, and continuity.  We were given playful, involved, nice and sane Jane instead of the secretive, dark, moody and disturbed Jane we have seen so much of this season.  It seems that he truly believes that his new lead has gotten him closer than ever before to Red John.  I don’t really agree with him that the information is that surprising or valuable, but I’ll remain silent and allow him his optimism for now.

He let Lisbon and the entire team in on his plan to catch the killer, and I love how seamlessly they all worked together.  The scene where Rigsby interviewed Wintergrove employees after Jane left Lem’s car with the blackmail note illustrates this. After Rigsby gives Dilmer the false impression that the CBI has no idea where Lem was killed, Rigsby reports in and says: “OK, the hook has been baited.”  Jane and Lisbon wait at the murder scene to catch the killer, and Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt all participate in the interrogations.  The entire team worked together like a well-oiled crime solving machine.

While Jane seemed to give the case the attention it deserved, it is clear Red John is never far from his mind.  When Jane meets Nathan Dilmer and shakes his hand, Jane gets an odd look on his face as he glances down at their linked hands.  You can almost see him thinking of Lorelei’s assertion that he and Red John met and shook hands at some point.

And that brings us to…

VIS #1: The teaser:  Lisbon and Jane and “The List”

As Lisbon and Jane arrive at the crime scene, Lisbon comments on Jane’s preoccupation with the little book in which he is recording the names of the people he has shaken hands with.   After helping him remember the name of the redhead from the bio facility, Dean Harken, she points out something that I hope Jane at least considered:

“I hate to be a buzzkill, Jane, but even if you could remember everybody you’ve ever met, what if Lorelei Martins is lying?  What if you’ve never actually met Red John?”

This is a valid question, but Jane is adamant when he states that:

“I haven’t just met him I’ve shaken hands with him.  And she wasn’t lying.  She didn’t realize what she told me.”

I suspect Jane is right, and Lorelei wasn’t lying.  She seemed genuinely enraged at the time and my best guess is that she was being honest.  Jane is taking her words as absolute gospel, including taking her literally when she said they shook hands.  I hope for everybody’s sake this isn’t a case of him seeing what he wants to see, like he believed Red John would in the Crimson Hat.  Presumably, the answer to this question will be revealed as the season progresses and we learn more.  For now, Lisbon doesn’t seem nearly as confident as Jane that Lorelei isn’t playing him.

Lisbon’s “Am I in that book?” was absolutely adorable and said with just the right combination of curiosity and uncertainty.   Jane in turn seemed absolutely genuine when he replied:

“She said it’s a wonder Red John and I didn’t become friends.  Now what we have I consider a friendship, so my friend, you are free and clear.”

Lisbon was relieved, and frankly, so was I.  At least we can confirm that Jane hasn’t become so dark and paranoid that he even suspects Lisbon.  I would be shocked if he did doubt her, but it’s nice to have the verbal reassurance since his continued secrecy does make me wonder at times.   I must admit I am much less certain and more curious about whether Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt are also given the friend exemption.

After starting out with a short but serious Red John conversation, they switched gears and lightened it up with some cute Jane antics.  Jane pretending to be the agent in charge and doing his best Lisbon imitation as he says “Rigsby, what have we got?” seemed to amuse even Lisbon.  She is barely able to hold back her smile when Jane asks the obviously well-heeled country club member who found the body if he is a member of a street gang.

Lisbon finally says:  “You know what?  You can write my name down in that book” and the two continue to bicker.  This dynamic is a big part of why I love the show, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it the past couple of weeks until I saw it back again.

VIS #2:  Lisbon and Jane with Juliana and Noah

I thought the way this scene was filmed very effectively drew a number of parallels between Jane and Lisbon.  Their shared sense of empathy and compassion for others (which Jane often hides), their own tragic losses, and even their fine investigative skills.  We’ve seen many times how Jane has influenced Lisbon’s behavior (more on that later), but this scene highlights some of the more positive effects that Lisbon has had on Jane, such as giving him a way to use his skills to help people instead of con them.  I like to think she has been a good influence on him, even if it doesn’t always show and is often overwhelmed by his obsession with vengeance.

The scene cuts back and forth repeatedly between Lisbon and Juliana and Jane and Noah.  Both Lisbon and Jane clearly reflect on their own tragic backgrounds as they talk with Juliana and Noah.  Lisbon realizes that with their parents and Lem gone and a younger brother to care for, Juliana is now in a position similar to her own when her father died.  She tells Juliana: “I knows what it’s like to be the one to keep the family together.  It’s a tough job.  Don’t make it tougher.  If you know who did this, tell me.” Juliana claims no knowledge.

Jane draws on his own personal history of loss, telling Noah: “It’s tough when you lose somebody but you still carry them with you.  I mean your memories and the choices you make in life.”  Clearly Jane is still dealing with his guilt over his role in his family’s deaths.  You can’t help but wonder if Jane is also questioning any of the choices he’s made since his family was killed.

VIS #3: Cho and Tamsin Wade

It was love at first sight.  Cho took one look at the CornerShot assault rifle in Tamsin Wade’s office and was drawn to it like a man lost in the desert is drawn to an oasis.  After watching him play for a few minutes, Tamsin teases Cho, saying:  “Better put that thing down before you shoot someone, doggy.” Cho actually almost smiled! Tamsin reveals that Lem has had no contact with the Ghouls in the past few years, so there doesn’t seem to be a gang related motive for his murder.  But it wasn’t a wasted visit on Cho’s part.  Turns out the CBI is creating a new Rapid Response team which will be the CBI’s version of a SWAT team.

I really like the dynamic between the two ex-military types and the badass attitude that Tamsin demonstrates (I could imagine she and Lisbon being friends, hanging out, cleaning their guns.)  Later, after Cho works with Tamsin’s team to enter the Ghouls stash house and bring in Shade, he accepts a spot on the Rapid Response team.  She invites Cho out to the shooting range after work to meet the team.  I loved the chemistry between Cho and Tamsin.   I hope we see more of her as the season progresses.

This brings me to a small, or maybe not so small, concern of mine.  The show has introduced several new recurring characters:  Tamsin, Mancini, Kirkland, Alexa.  I find all of them fascinating and compelling, but I wonder how frequently they will really appear.  We haven’t seen Mancini in weeks and we were just left hanging after that poker game.  I realize there is only so much screen time available, but I really wish they would find a way to work more of these characters in even a bit more often.  They did a great job this week doing that with Sarah.  Even a quick verbal mention of them, such as they frequently do with Lorelei, would really help keep these storylines in mind.

VIS #4:  Jane asks Lisbon to let Juliana go

Before Lisbon can explain to Noah that he will be going with child services, Jane drags her out saying he has a brilliant idea.  He then admits that he has no brilliant idea, he just doesn’t want her to send Noah to a foster home.  Jane tells her that there are always choices.  She can just let them go home, she doesn’t have to charge his sister.  When Lisbon responds that she broke the law, Jane draws in a breath and glances away as if he is frustrated by Lisbon’s insistence on the letter of the law.  He just replies “Just let them go home” and watches Lisbon walk away.

A bit later when Lisbon asks where Jane is going, he says “Back to Wintergrove.  I have an appointment to take a look at a model home.  Do you wanna come with, or do you wanna stick around and do the right thing?”

Lisbon, exasperated, just replies “Jane” before he says “I trust you’ll make the right choice Lisbon.”

Considering Jane’s history of caring for children, I don’t doubt that he was eager to keep Noah out of foster care.  However, as I watched this scene there was a nagging voice inside my head insisting that Jane was testing Lisbon to see how easily she would set aside the law in favor Jane’s version of justice.   This isn’t the first time he has convinced her to let a guilty party go.  Now that he believes he is closer than ever to finding his nemesis, he might be trying to gage where Lisbon stands after years of Jane’s influenced.  Have her views changed enough for his purposes? Will she let Jane get away with murder, or will she try to stop him or arrest him when the final showdown comes?  Will his evaluation of where she now stands influence how much or how little he tells her of his discoveries and plans going forward?

VIS #5:  Lisbon and Sarah

Both Lisbon / Sarah scenes were compelling.  They demonstrated Lisbon’s growing ambivalence toward always obeying the letter of the law, Jane’s influence on her, and the ongoing theme of the law versus justice.  When Lisbon tells Sarah they’d like to hold off on charging Juliana McVie because they would like to have leverage to try to use her to catch bigger fish, Sarah readily agrees but tells Lisbon she read the file and it’s a slam dunk.  She goes on to say:

“Don’t give her a pass because she is sympathetic.  She broke the law.  You have statutory duties.”

Thank you, Sarah!  I’m glad somebody reminded Lisbon of this.  Her guilty “I hear you” to me sounded like she is very conscious of all the things she has let Jane get away with, or convince her to let other people get away with.  Not that I disagree with her decision in this particular case.  The police and DA do have broad discretion on whether or not to press charges and Juliana is clearly not a threat to society.  At least Lisbon did it the right way in this case, getting agreement from the DA, and not hiding or fabricating evidence or letting a dangerous criminal escape *cough* Jane *cough*.

Sarah reminding Lisbon of her responsibilities wasn’t the only thing I liked about this scene.  I thought this was a great way to bring Sarah back and remind us she’s still out there and still in Ben’s life without building an entire episode around her. Please refer to my earlier comment about more continuity with recurring characters.  This is a great example of the right way to do it.

The second Sarah / Lisbon scene was even more interesting.  Lisbon introducing her to Juliana and Noah and explaining, in front of them, how Lem was a hero who died because he wanted to do the right thing, and then suggesting that perhaps the DA’s office would consider dropping the charges against Juliana “because it’s the right thing to do” was extremely manipulative.  Sarah’s “nicely played, Theresa.  You owe me one” was spot on.

Not even Jane could have played this situation better. Lisbon manipulated Sarah in much the same way Jane manipulated Lisbon. Lisbon has been learning at the knee of the master.   Maybe Jane should put Lisbon in his book after all. ;-)

I love the very end when Lisbon gives Juliana and Noah Lem’s keys and cufflinks. Juliana understood how Lisbon managed the situation, and was very appreciative.  The big hug Noah gives her was very sweet.   We are once again reminded how awesome Lisbon is.

VIS #6:  Jane and Lisbon catch the bad guys

There was a lot to like here.  Humor, Jane and Lisbon working flawlessly together to get the guilty to incriminate themselves, and a mysterious murmur as Lisbon talks in her sleep.

When Jane and Lisbon go back to the crime scene, Jane jumps over fence assuming that it is locked.  Lisbon calmly opens the gate and walks through.  Jane is obviously surprised and a bit defensive as he explains “that was locked this morning”.  Seeing the normally self-assured and in control Jane feeling a little foolish was amusing.

Jane knows it’s a Wintergrove employee, but not which one.  They sit out of sight on the kitchen floor and wait to see who walks through the door.  Lisbon eventually falls asleep and we hear her voice saying something just about unintelligible.  Jane hesitates before reaching out to wake her.  He tells her she was talking in her sleep and drooling (what a gentleman!) She asks what she said, but before he can answer her, the door opens.  I had a hard time hearing what she said.  My best guess is “lies, I know”, but I realize this is probably wrong.  However, I suspect this is a bit of a Rorschach test.  Is it meant to be anything significant, or is it just a cute moment letting us know that Lisbon talks in her sleep?  Hard to tell, but the look on Jane’s face, instead of being amused as I would expect if she was babbling nonsense, seemed rather serious.

When Bosh, Phipps and Dilmer enter the house, Jane and Lisbon eventually make themselves known.  I love how Jane turned them against each other by pretending that Bosh had been cooperating with them and sold the other two out.  Lisbon played right along when she realized what Jane was doing (so maybe her acting skills are a little better than Jane gives her credit for.)  Lisbon can improvise along with Jane, demonstrating how well she now understands his methods.

VIS #7: Jane in his attic

Once again we are reminded that the hunt for Red John is Jane’s top priority and favorite pastime.  The episode ends with Jane in his attic looking through his book.  We were given a clear view of the final page he looks at.  The names shown were Brett Partridge, Ellis Mars, Dean Harken, Jason Cooper (Stiles’ second in command at Visualize), Walter Mashburn, Vint Molinari (FBI Missing Persons, led Kristina Frye search), Dr. Linus Wagner, Virgil Minelli, Dr. Towlen Morning (who is deceased), and Osvaldo Ardiles.  I’m not sure why Morning would even make the list.  Not only is he dead, but Jane never met him while he was alive or shook his hand.  Sadly, there was no love shown for Laroche, Bertram, Kirkland or CBI Ron.  L  Either they are on pages we weren’t shown (most likely the case), or Jane doesn’t consider them suspects.

It’s like the writers threw in every pet theory of every Mentalist fan anywhere.  While Red John could conceivably be on the page we were shown (although I would not bet on it), you cannot conclude that he must be.  I think of it as a way for the writers to play with the fans and keep the interest level, and the conspiracy theory generation, running high.   And just so you don’t put too much faith in “The List”, keep in mind that four other names are briefly visible as Jane looks through the pages.  They are:  Sammy Corrado, Anthony Astrino, Jannie Penvari, and Briana Morini.  All four are staffers on The Mentalist, writers production assistants and the like.  It’s good to see that the writers have a sense of humor, but unless you truly think one of The Mentalist staffers is Red John, you might want to take Jane’s list with a grain of salt.

Best Scenes

The winner: When Lisbon manipulates Sarah into letting Juliana go.  It demonstrated not only how much Jane’s influence has impacted Lisbon thinking, but also how well Lisbon has learned and can now apply Jane’s techniques.  Bonus for the sweet interaction with Noah at the end.

First Runner up: Jane asking Lisbon to let Juliana go.  The tension could be cut with a knife, and I do believe it was a very obvious test.

Second Runner up:   The opening scene when Jane expresses his confidence that Red John is someone he knows.  It is obvious he now views it as a simple matter of going through all the names in his book.  And it’s a bonus to see him clearly acknowledge his friendship with and trust of Lisbon.

Best lines

“Hey, you found our victim’s car.  Well done” – Cho to Shade as he cuffs Shade after tackling him next to Lem’s car.

“You know what?  You can write my name down in that book.”- Lisbon to Jane.

“I’m pretty handy with a kettle.  You should trust me.” – Jane to Noah.

“He wrote the letter you idiot.” – Phipps to Bosh when Bosh doesn’t realize Jane had set them up.

“I think I need to be alone with the house for a moment.  Just to check out its aura.  Well I’m not gonna buy a house unless we have compatible auras.” – Jane to Bosh.

“But next time you come across a dead body, Chip, show a little respect.  Thank you” – Jane to Chip McGavin.

“Better put that thing down before you shoot someone, doggy.” –  Tamsin Wade to Cho.

Honorable Mentions

Bryce Clyde Jenkins did an excellent job as Noah McVie.  I’m always impressed when child actors give a strong and believable performance.

Jillian Bach was perfect as Sarah, as always.  Sarah is such an unusual mixture of cute and hard.  I’m glad she was back, if only for a couple of scenes.

Monique Gabriela Curnen is a great addition as Agent Tamsin Wade.  I really like how she manages to be tough and playful at the same time.

Pet Peeves

If some elements of the plot seemed a little familiar to you, that’s because you’ve seen it before. Multiple perpetrators killing the victim together to ensure they all share blame in order to prevent the victim from revealing their role in an accidental death – was done before in Red Tide way back in season one.   In that case it was four teenagers drowning their friend on the beach to keep her from telling the police about the accidental death of a security guard.   Despite the obvious recycling, this episode was well done and I didn’t guess that the three men were in on it together until the very end.

Is it really realistic that Cho’s Rapid Response duties would not interfere with his full time Serious Crimes duties?  I suppose if the unit was very infrequently used it might be, but I would think that type of unit would see frequent action.

Conclusion

Overall Black Cherry was well done and both a very good standalone episode and an effective vehicle for slowly moving forward other ongoing storylines.  It harkened back to simpler times before Jane became quite so dark, and really highlighted the excellent chemistry Jane and Lisbon as well as the rest of the team share.  After spending most of this season watching Jane become a less and less likable character, we got to see him, at least temporarily, redeem himself by being responsive to his team, showing compassion, and being less of the creepy obsessed loner that he seemed to be turning into.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain December, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain, December, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

 

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.


Mentalist Red Sails in the Sunset Review


Synopsis

CBI consultant Patric Jane (Simon Baker) asks powerful cult leader Brett Stiles (Malcolm McDowell) to help him get serial killer Red John’s associate, Lorelie Martins (Emanuelle Chriqui) out of the FBI prison where she’s being held. After she escapes, Jane picks her up in an attempt to get her to reveal Red John’s identity. Meanwhile Bob Kirkland (Kevin Corrigan) from homeland security informs CBI Special Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) about Lorelie’s escape. He also tells her that if Jane helped Lorelie escaped then he’s in great danger. Jane races against time, trying to gain Lorelie’s trust and glean information from her before Kirkland and Lisbon find them.

Concise Verdict

Red Sails in the Sunset is a mandatory episode; a bridge between where the show is at now and where it intends to go. Its importance could cannot be overestimated or exaggerated. There were a million directions writer Daniel Cerone could have taken and I’m extremely thankful that the one chosen is character and story appropriate. The solemn tone (and events) throughout the episode makes it kind of a downer, but it is nonetheless thrilling and completely satisfying 9/10

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

Jane breaking into the prison was too ridiculous to attempt so I’m glad that wasn’t what ended up happening. Brett Stiles has been established as a powerful enough man to make it happen. But before he does, his and Jane’s conversation was quite interesting.

VIS #1: Jane asks for Brett Stiles’s Help

Jane meets Visualize cult leader Brett Stiles (Malcolm McDowell) at a movie theatre and asks him what he thinks of his request. They then have the following conversation:

Brett: “I don’t think much of it, Patrick, really I don’t.”

Jane: “Meaning you can’t accomplish it?”

Brett: “Any task can be accomplished as long as it’s broken down into manageable pieces.”

Jane: “So you’ll do it.”

-Jane is utterly fascinating. When it comes to things he wants done he only sees matters in black and white. It’s like it never occurred to him that just because a person can do something, doesn’t mean that they will. The fact that Brett owes him (which Brett acknowledges) is probably why he’s so confident here. But then there’s the fact that it’s never occurred to him one might refuse a request of his because they actually care about him…

Brett tells Jane “Let this be my favor to you: let it go. The whole idea. It’s just not worth it.” When Jane expresses surprise that Stile’s is backing away from a challenge, Brett explains that he’s gotten used to Jane’s presence.

-On the other hand, Jane is clever enough to have known Brett was looking out for him. Probably he’s just doesn’t want to deal for the inconvenience of emotions.

Brett tells Jane that if he gets caught he’ll end up in a federal prison. Jane tells Stiles that he just needs to make sure he’s not caught. Stiles bids Jane farewell, telling him it’s been a pleasure, and bids him luck.

-This clues viewers into how hopeless Brett thinks the situation is, and the unlikelihood that Jane will get away with whatever he has planned.  I’m glad that Jane’s got one more person giving him good advice, even if he, unfortunately, refuses to take it.

VIS #2: Kirkland tells Lisbon of Lorelie’s Escape

Lisbon is trying to get in touch with Jane when she spots Kirkland waiting for her in her office. Before going inside Lisbon *gasp* fluffs *Gasp* her hair *GASP*  before joining him!!!

This makes me happy on oh so many levels.

-Save for the “hot mail-room guy” (Red Badge) and Mashburn (Red Hot) Lisbon has never shown any interest in a man before.

-Lisbon has a new friend! That coffee date must have gone great.

-It gives her breathing space from always worrying about Jane.

-He might genuinely be helping her out with Vokler, which is only a good thing considering how depressed she was over him (If it Bleeds it Leeds)

-I can’t wait to see Jane’s reaction when he finds out.

-I find the possibility of Jane pining over Lisbon, when most fans argued that she’s the one in love with him, absolutely yummy.

Kirkland tells her about Lorelie’s escape then confronts Lisbon over the fact that Jane had been interviewing prison transportation officers. Lisbon admits it but defends Jane saying it doesn’t mean he helped her. She then asks why Lorelie’s escape is a Homeland issue. Kirkland tells her it is complicated before adding that if Jane is with Lorelie then he is in danger.

-I find it interesting that Lisbon never bothered asking Kirkland to explain how Lorelie (and Vokler, as far as we know) are important to his job. I think it’s because she assumes the information is classified and therefore does not want to pressure Bob into revealing it.

Later, thanks to Jane’s setting up of his “crime scene”, Kirkland concludes that Lorelie is the one who kidnapped Jane, not the other way around.

VIS # 3: Jane Gains Lorelie’s Trust

Jane goes to pick up Lorelie, knowing that she’d go along with the escape thinking that RJ was the one who was coming for her.

-Jane rescuing her instead was meant as a way to earn her trust.

He gets a car with a busted radio, and later a motel room with a broken television.

-This is so that Lorelie doesn’t figure out he’d set the situation up as if she’d kidnapped him, but also serves a double purpose of isolating her from the outside world. No distractions ensure they get to spend “quality time” together so he can get to know her.

Jane tells Lorelie to ask him wherever she wants to go. She asks for the ocean. Jane complies and later  makes a fire.

-Because what else could be more romantic? But more than that, fires are very captivating. Plus they’re warm which might be while Lorelie, in the middle of the night, decided to join Jane and sleep outside. But the fact that she snuggled up close makes me think she also felt lonely.

When Lorelie tells Jane to stop at a convenience store because she needs to change her look, he tells her that he likes her take charge attitude, that she must have taken care of someone and that she probably has a vain and controlling mother whom she managed to escape. Lorelie tells Jane to drop the act if he really wants to know her.

-I loved Lorelie calling Jane out on his act. It’s nice to see someone doing it. Though he gets plenty of that by the time the episode is over…

VIS # 4: Kirkland and Lisbon question Dana, Lorelie’s mother

Lisbon and Kirkland visit Dana, Lorelie’s mother at her house. Dana says that she knows nothing about her daughter, that they don’t have anything to do with each other. When Lisbon asks if her mother has any insight on how her daughter became the way she was, she tells her: “Lorelie only ever cared about Lorelie. What are you going to do with a kid like that?” At Lisbon’s bemused “You don’t feel at all responsible for her?”, her mother smirks cattily and says “Now there’s a question from a woman without children.”

-SNAP! That had to have hurt Lisbon. Especially if my suspicion that she’d always wanted kids has any grain of truth.

Lisbon rises above the jab, literally, as she gets up to look around the house. While Dana states that she’s satisfied her motherhood duties, citing her wealth and that Lorelie could have been anything, Lisbon figures out, based on the photos in the room, that Lorelie has daddy issues. Her (step?) father is much older than her mother and is away a lot on work.

-I wonder if Lorelie was sexually abused by him, like Rebecca was by a close relative as Jane surmised (His Right Red Hand).

When Dana tells Lisbon that she doesn’t like her tone, Lisbon replies: “Your daughter is the mistress of a psychopathic killer yet you have no information to give us about how or why she got that way. Frankly I don’t’ care if you like my tone.”

-Badass Lisbon rocks. It’s nice to see her play bad cop for a change, since that’s usually Jane’s area of expertise. But as we are shown here, it’s not because Lisbon lack for anything. But someone has to smooth ruffled feathers. In this case, it is Kirkland who thanks Dana for her time when she kicks them out.

Afterwards, Dana visits Lisbon in the office where she admits that Lorelie had a younger sister, Miranda,  whom Dana sold for cash when she was a baby. She states that it was after the girls’ father had left her, and that Lorelie held her up.

-This matches Jane’s conclusion that Lorelie was used to talking care of someone, and that she had a vain controlling mother.

Dana then tells Lisbon that Lorelie never forgave her, and that: “That day I lost two daughters. Not one.”

Lisbon’s response is a a deadpan: “Want me to get you a tissue?”

-Awesome. Considering how much Dana screwed up Lorelie, Lisbon seems to have no sympathy for the mother. Rather, based on what we now know, Lorelie and Lisbon have a lot more in common than their both being tiny brunettes.

VIS #5: Jane and Lorelie Bond over Blows

-Lorelie later tells Jane that they’re going to a cabin she and her late sister used to go to. When Jane expresses sorrow for her loss she says: “Don’t be. Her death was a gift. Sort of.” When Jane asks her to explain, Lorelie tells him: “Losing my sister brought me into my full reality. I faced my deepest fear. I have complete awareness. Nothing can hurt me.”

Jane leaves his and Lorelie’s hotel room immediately to call Lisbon and confirm what he already suspects: Red John killed Lorelie’s sister to leave her bereft, in pain and vulnerable to his manipulation. He has Lisbon fax over a photo of her sister’s crime scene where she carved the name of her assailant on the floor: Roy.

-As in Roy Tagliaferro, RJ’s alias.

Meanwhile Lorelie hears on the radio that Jane’s car was left broken into and that the police think he was kidnapped by Lorelie Martins. She proceeds to beat Jane into a pulp as soon as he comes back into their hotel room over his manipulation and lies. She tells Jane that he had her going, that for a moment she almost trusted him. When Jane tells her she should she says “Stop, just stop playing the role.” Jane then tells her that RJ, her friend, was the one who killed her sister and shows her the crime scene photo, adding that RJ made her a victim so that he could rescue her, that he preyed on her pain. Lorelie denies this and at Jane’s insistence tells him: “Just stop. God you’re just like him. Relentless manipulation.” When Jane says he’s nothing like John, Lorelie points out: “How would you know? I know.”

-I must say her words really made me feel vindicated. I’ve always said that Jane and RJ were two sides of the same coin (among many other similarities too numerous to mention here). It was nice to have it in canon. Even better, maybe now that Jane knows it too he can actively start working on lessening those similarities.

Lorelie then adds “I only wonder why the two of you didn’t become life-long friends the moment you shook hands.”

-OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

PEOPLE!! The suspect list has been narrowed down to people Jane shook hands with!!!

VIS #6: Lorelie and Jane at the Cabin

Lorelie tells Jane to go on inside. He enters the empty cabin and you can practically hear her sister’s ghost in the building. Lorelie tells Jane they used to come here to escape from the world. She then tells Jane that RJ didn’t kill her sister, that he’ll never convince her of that. Jane tells her “I’d kill for a cup of tea right now.” Lorelie offers to make him one.

-For a woman who knows she was being manipulated, Lorelie is awfully nice. I think it’s because she’s probably been spying on Jane for RJ so long that she knows needing tea= feeling distressed. Also, she probably understands Jane’s motivations and is therefore able to forgive him.

Jane tells Lorelie that they can’t stay here, that if the house is registered in Miranda’s, Lorelie’s sistere’s name then it’s only a matter of time before the police arrive. Lorelie expects Jane to run with her but he tells her that he’ll delay them: “Like you said, I’m never going to convince you that Red John killed your sister. You need to go and find out the truth for yourself. And when you do, when you find out the truth, you know where to find me. Just call me.”

-I think Lorelie felt, perhaps for the first time, that Jane was being genuine with her. Her subsequent concern for him felt genuine as well when she offers to beat him up so his kidnapping story is more believable.

Jane declines Lorelie’s offer. She kisses Jane before he tells her that she has to go.

-That kiss at the end seemed genuine gratitude on Lorelies part. Jane on the other hand seemed a bit too eager  end it. His hand was on her shoulder, almost pushing her away. It certainly wasn’t pulling her closer. I chalk it up either to his being in a hurry or him feeling uncomfortable and not wanting Lorelie to mistakenly think that he has any romantic feelings towards her. Like he told Lisbon, she’s just a means to the end that is RJ. But I think the time they spent together made him sympathize with her. By pushing her away I think Jane was actually showing her a kindness. She’s no longer just an object to be used. She’s a person.

Jane gets in his car and crashes it. When Lisbon and company show up he tells them that Lorelie ran on foot. He also demands to know “Who’s that guy?” referring to Kirkland before being shushed by Lisbon.

-Love, love LOVE, Jane’s indignant tone in reference to Kirkland. Also adored his extra moaning. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was in pain. But I also don’t doubt he was being extra vocal about it and enjoying Lisbon’s attention. Big baby :)

VIS #7: Lisbon confronts Jane in the attic

While I loved how Lisbon was concerned about Jane, I was worried that she wouldn’t be able to figure out what Jane did; that the best we’d get was a a replay of the scene in Red Queen where she tells Jane that whenever he’s involved she has cause for doubt. Been there, done that. Then I got worried that Lisbon simply wouldn’t speak of what she knows Jane did (i.e. Always Bet on Red ). Instead, writer Daniel Cerone thankfully shows us that Lisbon’s character has indeed grown. Let’s take it from the top.

Lisbon visits Jane in his attic and sits down with a serious, almost accusatory look on her face.

-This reminds me of when Lisbon told her shrink that cops sit quietly in front of perps, that it makes them nervous and gets them talking. It certainly works on Jane here. He starts talking and the two have the following conversation:

Jane:  “You’ll never know.” 

Lisbon: “I’ll never know what?”

-Lisbon’s question didn’t sound like it was intended as a diversion. Rather, the tone felt almost confrontational to me. Like she’s daring Jane to read her thoughts. Which Jane does….

Jane: “Whether I engineered the escape and abduction.”

Her demeanor is more assured than I’ve ever seen her when dealing with Jane:

Lisbon: “Trust me. I know.”

Jane’s confidence, on the other hand seemed more feigned than genuine:

Jane: “You don’t know. You’ll just guess.”

-Why yes Jane, but then you’d know something about that wouldn’t you. More than that, Jane’s reaction here is continuity to his ambivalent feelings when it comes to how well Lisbon knows him. We’ve seen him teach her his skills, but he’s quick to express disbelief when she uses them on him (Red Sky at Night, The Crimson Ticket). But Jane’s got more than just Lisbon’s knowledge into his ruses to worry about now:

Jane: “And you didn’t tell your new best friend Kirkland either.”

-I posit that by stating that Lisbon didn’t tell Kirkland, Jane was actually indirectly asking her if she had. He just didn’t want to admit that he wasn’t sure. More than that, the “new best friend” title Jane gave Kirkland seemed to stem from pure (I think it’s safe to say romantic, rather than platonic) jealousy. I’m sorry, but it was too pointed a statement to be anything else. Moving along…

Lisbon: I don’t have any evidence, if I did I’d put you in cuffs myself.

Jane: No you wouldn’t.

Lisbon: Try me.

At her words, Jane chuckles.

Lisbon: “What’s so funny.”

Jane:  Nothing. Sorry.

-Jane’s laugh here could be interpreted as mocking: he doesn’t believe Lisbon’s would go through with her words. Or it could have been ironic: after all these years they’re still facing the same dilemma first expressed in season one’s episode Red Flame. I choose to believe that it was actually uncomfortable laughter.

Why?

Jane: “All of it is worth it.”

-Because Jane tells Lisbon what Lorelie told him.

At Lisbon’s expression of disbelief/disgust, Jane gestures for her to come close:

Jane: “She told me Red John and I were very much alike. That it’s a wonder we weren’t best friends from the moment we shook hands.”

Jane sharing his little secret with Lisbon is perfectly in character. He takes risks that are only worth it when they bring results. Then he shows off to Lisbon how smart he is.

But while that’s true for normal cases Jane’s rarely ever been open when it concerns RJ. So why did he clue Lisbon in this time? Besides his being generally better at sharing this season I mean (probably to make up for his 6 month long deception).

I think Jane knew Lisbon would be more forgiving if he clued her in. She’d be less doubtful of his intentions if he shared his knowledge.

Then there’s Kirkland. I wonder if his presence didn’t help spur Jane into coming clean. It certainly irked him. If he felt threatened by Kirkland, then that might have caused him to be more open.

Best Scenes

The winner: The ending: Lisbon confronts Jane in the attic.

First Runner up: Lisbon and Kirkland question Dana.

Second Runner up: Dana Confesses to Lisbon that she sold her daughter.

What were your favorite scenes?

Best lines

“Any task can be done as long as it is broken down in manageable pieces.”- Brett Stiles to Jane.

“No one ever accused you of good judgement.”- Lorelie, to Jane.

“I’d like to understand. In case you haven’t noticed, healing is not my strong suit.”-Jane, to Loreli. They say the first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging it exists…

Icings on the Cake

Cho and Rigsby staring into LIsbon’s office, then looking away as soon as she walks into the bullpen. I can just imagine them gossiping about the man in her office.

Honorable Mentions

Blake Neely once again provided glorious music to accompany a fantastic episode.

The car crash was extremely well done. Kudo’s to director Simon Baker and whoever else was in charge.

The writing was remarkably well paced. We have scenes switching back and forth from Jane and Lorelie to Lisbon and Kirkland, each revealing a little more of the puzzle that is Lorelie’s involvement with RJ. There’s also the fact that for the first time we saw the consultant and CBI agent, each without his significant other, with another woman (and man) without the scenes feeling completely off. In fact, they almost felt appropriate at times. Truly well played Mr. Cerone.

Both Baker and Tunney were phenomenal.

Gigi Rice who plays Dana Martins was absolutely perfect. She was equally convincing both when Dana was being defensive and cold, as well as when she was being repentant.

Pet Peeves

You’d think Jane and Lisbon would have contacted Lorelie’s mother before to get insight into Lorelie’s past. But as far as we know this is the first time They’d met her.

Will we ever know how Lorelie ended up in the FBI prison and what the official position on that is?

The FBI could argue that a genuine mix-up is the cause of Lorelie’s dissapearence. They could deny the fact that she’s in their prison. Except Lorelie was called by her real name. within the prison. It’s just too aggravating to sift through all the possibilites; though Violet came up with a worthy believable scenario in the last episode’s review. But I’d like something in canon.

The scene with the kid at the convenience store was creepy. I think it was meant to be amusing.

Conclusion

Why didn’t RJ rescue Lorelie? Did he know Jane would? Did he want him to? Or was he that assured that she was completely out of Jane’s reach?

Then there’s Jane himself. We’ve gotten lots of continuity with regards to his less than healthy obsession, but it’s been a while since we saw that crazy look in his eye that he was sporting when he told Lisbon that Red John is someone he knows. Seriously, he looked downright scary with that creepy grin on his face. As Baker directed the episode, I’m sure this was intentional. That, along with all the other hints we’ve gotten this season makes me wonder if Jane’s sanity is a left over theme from last year’s season. It was never quite addressed, so that could very well be possible.

Finally, In episode Red Dawn’s comments, I’d stated:

I’ve learned my lesson with writer Tom S.’s first mentalizing of us audience when he had Jane help Steiner kill himself (the Red Line) to pave the way for when Jane shoots Carter. I don’t think I’m being paranoid when I think that this episode is likewise meant, to borrow Arco’s, butter us up when it comes to Jane so we’ll forgive something terrible that he’ll do this season. Likewise, we were shown Lisbon’s motivations so that we are able to sympathize with her and forgive her when she most likely lets Jane get away with whatever he’ll do. Readers, consider yourselves warned. I’ll be holding my guard way, way up. Conversely, it might also be that they’re showing us how close Jane and Lisbon are, the better to break our hearts if a rift finally comes between them. I prefer the latter scenario as it hasn’t been done before. But I’ll need to have tissue boxes at the ready if that happens…

I think this episode walked the careful line between the two scenarios. Yes, Jane did something atrocious again. But Lisbon neither forgave him nor did a huge blow out occur. I’m glad of it, for now, as there’s still plenty of time for drama between the two later in the show, especially considering the fact that Jane immediately pegged Kirkland as a new welcome presence in Lisbon’s life, which, by definition I suspect means Kirkland will be an unwelcome presence in Jane’s life. I can’t for the life of me find nor remember which of the readers mentioned Jane being a “caveman in a suit” (please let me know who you are and for which review you said it and I’ll certainly cite you!), but I had wanted to end the review with that quote stating that we’ll see how true (probably very) that statement is the next time Jane runs into Kirkland around Lisbon. I can’t wait.

For now, let the bidding on who is RJ is begin:


Last weeks art was a collaboration of ideas between the wonderful Mary (mistress of affiliate site Robin’s Green Shades) and Chizuruchibi. This week, the wonderful mistress of The Red Blog (another affiliate and your best source for all things Mentalist related) chimed in and helped my wonderful artist come up with the following:

Image by Chizuru-chibi. Copyright Reviewbrain November, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

If I were Jane I’d invest in creating this game. Maybe he wouldn’t get bet up as much that way XD.

Don’t forget to tune in this week. Check out the next episode’s promo.

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.


Mentalist Cherry Picked Review


I’ve recently signed on to a new production and will therefore be unable to write reviews as regularly as I have been. Thankfully, Violet has once again generously agreed to help out. I’ll put it in my two cents whenever possible, as in this review, but until further notice, when it comes to The Mentalist, she will be taking the lead. The show and the blog are precious to me and I am absolutely grateful to leave it in hands I trust as much as, if not more, than my own. Violet, I thank you for your continuous and invaluable support and insight.-RB

Synopsis                                                                                                    

Consultant Patrick Jane (Baker) is busy interrogating a prison guard about Lorelei Martins’ disappearance when Lisbon (Tunney) calls him at a crime scene, a security guard has been killed. Jane soon discovers that the case is more complicated than they first thought: a couple in the neighborhood has been kidnapped and a ransom is 3demanded to the husband’s brother, Isaac Goodwin (Neil Hopkins). Jane starts then to tease the truth out of him until he realizes that the kidnapper may have made taken the wrong couple, his brother’s best friends who were house sitting, Gary (Michael Petrone) and Sloan (Anne Dudek) Dietz.

Concise Verdict

‘Cherry Picked’ is a funny and entertaining episode, with an original type of case and Jane in top form. Without being a flat filler episode, it serves more as a stage for more crucial developments. It has the advantage of giving us some answers that we were expecting since the beginning of the season. Nevertheless, it ends on a rather frustrating note, since it opens more questions than it actually resolves and seems to take a step back in the trust department. Still, it’s a great addition to a thus far stellar season. 9/10

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (Spoilers Galore)

Jane

VIS #1: Jane Interviews a Prisoner Guard About Lorelei

The episode begins with a timeline; we’re told Lorelei has been missing for nineteen days, and this rare precision certainly means that the episode marks a milestone. Jane is showing a picture of Lorelei to an officer and asking if she knows her. Indeed, he has deduced that someone must have driven their prisoner out of jail; therefore a cop must be involved. That’s confirmation for distrustful viewers that he had nothing to do with her disappearance and is actively searching for her. The whole scene is packed with meaning: the monotone tone that he uses indicates immediately that it’s not the first time he’s doing such an interrogation; he’s got a notebook with picture of his suspects and meticulously written annotations. He’s doing boring police work, the type he normally leaves to others.  This is actually the first time that we see Jane operate in his personal investigation: even when he was trying to get his hands on La Roche’s list, we did see him take the big steps (talk to Minelli and to Culpepper), but not check the possibilities in a systematic fashion. That fact alone proves his dedication. When compared to how he acted when another woman involved to RJ has vanished, the difference is even more striking: with the Kristina Frye case, he was concerned but passive, he was letting the cops do their job, while here, he’s taking matters in his own hands.

Reviewbrain: I think this is continuity with regards to Jane’s increased lack of trust when it comes to RJ matters. He’s already lost Brenda and Todd so it makes sense he doesn’t want to lose Lorelie the same way.

Another detail later shows how he’s focused in finding Lorelei: in the Goodwin’s house, he enjoys listening to opera until Lisbon complains and make him stop the music. Jane’s partiality for classic has already been stated, but he’s listening to « La donna è mobile » from « Rigoletto » by Verdi is pretty interesting. In this song, the Duke of Mantua states how much women are untrustworthy, deceptive and are “flighty like a feather in the wind” (“La donna è mobile/ Qual piuma al vento”). In the opera, ironically, he’s singing this while the girl he’s waiting for is plotting his death with her accomplice. That’s obviously an allusion to Lorelei and the reference to her as another “donna” makes a perfect counterpoint to Jane calling Lisbon “bella donna” in the other “Cherry” episode.

Moreover, he seems to be investigating officially since the interrogation takes place at the CBI headquarters. He has access to the officer’s personal files and Lisbon is aware of what he’s doing, at least to a point. Does that thus mean that he has finally decided to come clean and tell her everything about his plans? That’s still very dubious…

VIS #2 : Consultant vs Kidnapper, Rounds One and Two

When Jane gets to the crime scene and starts dealing with Isaac Goodwin, it soon becomes very clear that he is being quite confrontational, first with Isaac by playing a phone prank on the man to force him to confess that his brother and sister-in-law have been kidnapped, then with the kidnapper himself. Indeed, when the bad guy calls Isaac, Jane uses the opportunity to reveal that he premeditated to take the Dietz instead of the Goodwin in order to use their guilt. Then, in one of the funniest moments of the episode, he process to negotiate a lower ransom for the hostages in almost the same way he would bargain before buying something. Curt, peremptory and to the point. And he doesn’t stop here. The next call from the kidnapper is even worse: after the guy insults Lisbon, Jane snaps and shouts at him, ordering him to release one of the hostages or the deal is off; he goes to the extent of ending the communication himself. His instinct to defend his friend is touching and the scene is really amusing, still the truth is that it was the worst thing to do as a negotiator, even more since he knew the perpetrator had already killed someone.

The logical explanation is that Jane’s eager to close the case and go back to serious business, the investigation on Lorelei’s whereabouts. He’s not rushing it as much as he was when Culpepper was in custody in season 3, but he tries to speed things up in a cavalier manner and is taking a huge risk with Dietz’ life. If it had been a real kidnapping and not just a way to try and cover Gary Dietz’ murder and fly with the Goodwin’s money, the most probable outcome would have been that one of the hostages would have ended wounded or dead, just to prove that the bad guy was serious about it. Indeed some details tended to indicate that there was a mastermind behind the guy and that it was a close friend to the Goodwin, but it could have been someone else. Or Sloan and her lover could have chosen to execute Gary and keep pretending that she was his prisoner. It was an awful risk to take, even if he was right… He has become more and more reckless with his cases: he goes farther every time in taking risks that he estimates worth of a try. It’s not the first time he knowingly puts someone in danger (Grace in ‘The Red Ponies’ for instance), but there is a definite progression in his carelessness.

Reviewbrain: While I agree with everything you said, I just want to say that I was actually impressed with Jane’s efforts to solve the case here. He didn’t seem as hasty as he was in season two’s premiere Redemption (in which he caused a shoot out in his hurry to solve a case). In fact, when the victim’s brother told Lisbon he wouldn’t let her talk to the kidnappers, because he didn’t want his brother’s blood on their hands, Jane had actually agreed saying: Hard to argue with that. He only got involved after he was positive that one of the victim’s was actually an accomplice. And while that doesn’t excuse his methods…well, it’s not the worst thing he’s ever done :/

VIS # 3: Jane and Lisbon in Front of the Elevator

When Jane gets eventually a promising lead about one of the jail driver on the Lorelei’s case, he omits to mention it to Lisbon. She follows him to the elevator and asks him about it. He deflects her questions and she insists by blocking the doors with her hand. And we have almost a exact repeat of the final scene in ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’: Lisbon tells him “let me help you” and he rejects her offer with a somewhat semi-apologetic “thank you” (for letting go of the doors) – instead of the nicer “you’re sweet” from last season. The whole exchange is completed by a good serving of meaningful glances, this time more along the lines of a warning than a supplication. And, like that time unruly Jane embarks for a dangerous scheme (breaking in the deputy’s house). But, in spite of the similarities, it’s obvious that Jane doesn’t hide anymore the fact that he don’t want to tell her the entire truth: he trusts her enough to keep her in the loop about the general direction he’s taking, but he doesn’t want to share the most important elements. It seems that he still hasn’t learned his lesson…

Reviewbrain: I know this scene annoyed a lot of people but I actually had a positive reaction to it. I felt the “Thank you” much more meaningful, and less patronizing (if not as nice) as the “You’re sweet” in Red Rover, Red Rover. The “you’re sweet” had felt like a clandestine rejection, while the “thank you” here seemed to denote genuine gratitude. We’ve seen Lisbon (finally) hold her own when it comes to Jane’s investigations into Red John. In episode The Crimson Ticket, she’d threatened to put a stop to Jane’s actions by going to Bertram, and only gave in after Jane pleaded with her to not to. Here, her hand stopping the elevator, coupled with her “Let me help you” seemed a quiet assertion of her authority. So I think Jane’s thanks here him expressing gratitude and acknowledgment for the leeway she’s giving him. There might have been another meaning to his thanks. His non-reply to Lisbon’s offer to help him seemed to speak pretty loud: “I don’t want your help because I’ll probably do something which might get you in trouble so can you let me go please.” Jane’s (canon) reason for not including in on his plans is always the same; either protecting her from Red John or from getting her in trouble. I think that, for once, Lisbon got that and decided she was better off having Jane fill her in later. I’m not sure I blame her. And while I don’t think its the best choice it didn’t send me into a fit of rage, either. Considering the fact that Jane was going to break into the officer’s house, I’m very grateful she didn’t go along. Her character wasn’t ruined as a result and I was subsequently saved from going into a fit of rage.

Violet: This moment between them also constitutes another occurrence in a growing string of intriguingly similar scenes. Indeed, there seems to be plenty of more or less decisive moments in front of our CBI elevator recently: Jane interrogating the bank robber in ‘Not One Red Cent’, meeting a vengeful Rigsby in ‘Blood Feud’; Jane’s very first steps in headquarters in ‘Red Dawn’ and being punched in the nose in front of said elevator minutes later… In almost every episode, there seems to be a reminder of the first and more powerful of those examples: the one where Lorelei was taken by the FBI in ‘The Crimson Ticket’, as if the elevator scenes were a symbolical thread running through the beginning of this season and representing Jane’s fixation on the problem caused by Lorelei’s vanishing.

Reviewbrain: Thank you so much for pointing this out. I never would have thought of it but now that you brought it up I can’t help but wonder if might not be an indicator of how easily people can disappear from each others lives. Jane himself had disappeared via the elevator after his (fake) breakdown and went missing for six months. More foreshadowing of someone else leaving?

Lisbon

Jane isn’t the only one in a belligerent mood. It looks like our usually sweet Lisbon has been contaminated too. First, she’s amused by Jane’s funny prank on Isaac, even though it’s rather cruel; she also snaps at Jane twice for listening to very loud opera. Later, when Isaac eventually locks himself up with the phone, she starts banging on the door and threatens to break it down. Isaac is characterized by Jane as « arrogant », « insensitive » and he’s indeed very reluctant and difficult to deal with, but he also comes across as scared to make a bad move and to cause his family’s death (and we discover afterwards that he’s even more afraid because he doesn’t have the money to pay the ransom). How come our usually very empathic Lisbon isn’t more understanding with him? Then it’s Brenda’s turn. The woman from Public Relations warns Lisbon that the case is highly sensitive because Marcus Goodwin has connections in the Pentagon, to what Lisbon answers dryly: “you’ve got your problems, I’ve got mines.” Brenda finally wins when she pressures the agent by threatening to call director Bertram. Both women make up in the end, but where is the Lisbon who accepted to drag along a TV reporter and cameraman in the field for the sake of good publicity?

Reviewbrain: Thanks for bringing this up. This out of character Lisbon, while amusing, felt a bit annoying considering her usual kind and patient way of dealing with members of victim’s families. The scene here was almost a complete role reversal with Lisbon behaving childishly and Jane being the cooler head.

Violent: Many explanations are plausible: she couldn’t afford to lose time if she wanted to save the hostages and she didn’t want to be bothered by trivial things, for one. She may also be suffering from burn-down, as Reviewbrain has been pointing out for some time, have lost her last ounce of trust in authority and thus wouldn’t care anymore about good appearance and the annoying politics inherent to her charge as long as she keeps doing her job well. Or Jane’s influence may have become so overwhelming that she begins to truly act like him, doing things her way without caring about consequence: after all, she went as far as trying to play with Isaac’s emotions, lying about feeling “bad that (he’s) in here”, just like she would if she was dealing with a kid. Jane has taught her well. And that’s a scary thought.

Reviewbrain: The loss of trust in authority was actually first brought up by Windsparrow, just to be clear ;) As to her impatient reactions, I think it’s more of a case of after being together for so long Lisbon has picked up on some aspects of Jane’s character. And while I agree Lisbon was cajoling Isaac like a mother would a child, I wouldn’t go as far as she was playing with his emotions. She just needed to get him out. And I think, rather than it being anything Jane had taught her, it was something she was used to dealing with considering she’d raised three “nearly feral” brothers, as she’d once said (Red Gold).

The usual suspects

VIS #4: The Ending, aka Jane Faces the Guilty Officer Walter DeMunn (Michael Shamus Wiles)

When the case is closed, Jane breaks again in deputy DeMunn’s house and confronts him about helping get Lorelei out of jail. After resisting a while, DeMunn finally admits that he’s been blackmailed by an “Agent Nemo” from FBI, who knew the deputy had raped an inmate. He agrees to give Jane the address where he took Lorelei. Jane knows his classics and remarks that “Nemo” means “Nobody”. This is actually a double allusion that’s quite interesting. Ulysses in Homer’s “Odyssey’” used the Greek word for nobody as a name to trick the Cyclops Polyphemus who took him and his companions prisoners. Ulysses blinded him and escaped, therefore the monster kept telling that “Nobody” has attacked him. That’s exactly what our unknown agent did here. Also, Jules Verne made a reference to this incident in “20.000 Leagues under the Sea” by naming one of his most important characters Captain Nemo (“nobody” in Latin): he’s a very smart and dark man who chose to exclude himself from society by living with his crew in the submarine Nautilus, sinking ships. So, while Ulysses gave us the storyline, Captain Nemo represents the instigator of an invisible power, the master of a crew that stays unknown to the population, always simmering under the sea like a dangerous force, just like good old RJ.  Nevertheless, both references also indicate the ambiguity of Jane’s new enemy. Indeed, neither Ulysses nor Nemo are really bad guys per se: Ulysses is cunning and Nemo is dark and mysterious, but they aren’t cruel cold-blooded killers like Red John. Does that mean that the mole isn’t behind this, that the genuine FBI chose an intricate and illegal way to keep Lorelei for themselves, without involving RJ?

In addition, DeMunn’s home also points subtly to another character, Bertram: we got a glance of a framed picture of the deputy and Bertram, just like we saw one of La Roche holding his dog when Culpepper broke in his house. Symbolically we’re reminded that Bertram is a plausible suspect, he’s not “out of the picture” yet. Speaking of Bertram, I’ve been wondering recently if his name wasn’t inspired by Agatha Christie’s “At Bertram’s Hotel”. In this novel, Miss (Jane) Marple discovers that a cosy old-fashioned hotel where she likes to stay has been used as a façade for a well organized criminal ring, orchestrated by a well-known and connected lady mastermind. Maybe it hints that Bertram is also orchestrating a law enforcement smokescreen to cover up sinister activities… Or, since there is no actual “Bertram” in the novel, his name only serves for pointing out that there is a façade, without implying that he’s involved… And, just to confuse us a little more, Christie’s lady mastermind (Bess Segdwick) has been played in 2007 in the British TV show “Miss Marple” by no other than… Polly Walker, aka our FBI agent Alexa Schultz. Mentalist recipe for Ambiguity cocktail: stir a bit of every possible suspect together, add a dash of confusion and shake before serving.

Best Scenes

The winner: The ending. A creepy guy, a mysterious blackmailer, a new lead and Jane on top of his game, what more could we ask for?

First runner up: Cho and Rigsby playing the sea lion in the middle of the bullpen. It was both a hilarious and cute scene and probably a sign that the guy doesn’t suffer from PTSD after the events in ‘Blood Feud’. Cho even cracked a smile!

Second Runner up: Every scene with Jane playing negotiator. Outrageous as they were, they were also very funny and the shocked looks on everyone’s face afterwards was priceless.

Best Lines

“Tell me, what are you wearing?” Jane to Isaac on the phone. Cruel but still hilarious.

Reviewbrain: this moment was so classic Jane I didn’t care how cruel it was. I’m a hypocrite like that :p

“You’re selling beer here, not Champagne” Jane again, to the kidnapper who demands too high a price for Marcus’ friends. Talk about negotiation skills…

“Then why do you look worried?” Lisbon, answering to Jane assuring her that the kidnapper would call back. Seeing her reading his impassive expression is always enjoyable. Even more when the man tries to deny it.

“You don’t criticize his performance? Just mine?” Lisbon, to Jane about Rigsby.

“He was good. You? *gestures so-so with his hands*” Aw, Lisbon! I think she tries too hard when she acts in front of Jane (see the “Bite me!” in episode Red Scare) as opposed to her flawless performance in front of Brenda in Season three’s finale Strawberries and Cream.

Icings on the Cake

Even though a overly snappy and insensitive Lisbon is somewhat worrying, it was still nice to see her at last angered with Jane about something… even if that something is him listening to opera too loudly… A Lisbon giving her misbehaving consultant a piece of her mind is always a good thing!

Lisbon (whom we’ve never seen seeking the spotlight before) offering to do interviews with reporters instead of Jane whom wase nowhere to be found, only to get shot down by Brenda was very cute. She looked like a hurt puppy!

Reviewbrain: The case touched on two of this season’s possible continuous themes:

-Gary Dietz (Michael Petrone) was closer to Isaac Goodwin than his own brother, Marcus. When Isaac and his wife Pella went out of town, they asked Gary and Sloan to take care of their dog rather than Isaac. The couple were also willing to fork over all their money to save their friends life. And at the end of episode, the hug they gave him when he returned to them safely shows they don’t just consider him their friend. He’s family. I’d stated in an earlier review that there’s the family you are born with (Rigsby and his father) and the family you choose (Lisbon and her team). I like to think that this is a throwback to this theme.

-Sloan’s character seemed to allude to another of this season’s themes: love.  Specifically, the unconditional (though not necessarily romantic) love Lisbon has for Jane. They have gone through so much together. She has taken so much grief in her professional (and probably personal) life too due to his larger than life personality and general disregard for everything non-RJ related. But we’ve rarely seen her complain. Despite all, she enjoys his company and presence and is unwavering loyal. Contrast this with Sloan who is a complete opposite. As far as we can tell the only thing her poor husband Gary is guilty of is not being rich. When he begs her to spare him, asking what he ever did to her, she responds that he wasted ten years of her life; brought her down with him. I found the contrast too polar to be a coincidence. I think it is either further evidence to indicate how strong Lisbon and Jane’s (and by proximity the team’s) bond is, as All-I-Need suggested, or dark foreshadowing that Lisbon’s patience might also come to an end.

Honorable Mentions

It was quite intriguing to see Anne Dudek as the traitorous Sloan Dietz. I wonder if, given her ambivalent part in “House” some years ago, seeing her as one of the hostages has tipped off some viewers about Sloan…

Blake Neely’s tunes at the end scene was fantastic. Quietly moody during the interrogation, then swelling into Jane’s familiar theme, only more bad-ass with the addition of I think a new instrument (I think) as Jane swaggered out of the house and told the awaiting police “He’s all yours”?

Michael Shamus Wiles was fantastic, offering a multitude of depth to a man we’ve never met before and managing to humanize a man we’re told is a rapist.

The direction by John F. Showalter was quite superb, holding together a pretty complicated story.

Pet Peeves

–  Jane did the right thing by calling the police to arrest the rapist deputy at the end. But won’t that warn whoever took Lorelei that Jane is getting closer? That seemed awfully imprudent for someone as cautious as Jane.

Reviewbrain: I know! I was shocked! And happy! Could it be our man is starting to respect the law? I can almost imagine Lisbon’s reaction:

Lisbon: So I heard you turned in Walter for rape.

Jane: I did. He also told me where he took Lorelie.

Lisbon: Wow. All this without breaking the law. So how’d you get him to confess?

Jane: ….

Lisbon: Jane?

Jane: I broke into his house, snooped until I learned enough to cold read him into confessing.

Lisbon: ……Of course you did. Silly me.

Sorry. I couldn’t help it XD

Conclusion: The primary goal of this episode was certainly to announce grand and dark things to come from Jane. It made me wonder about its title: what is this “Cherry Picked” referring to? One of the meanings of the expression “cherry picking” is to select data in order confirm a particular theory or position, while putting aside any other evidence that might infirm it. So is Jane cherry picking? Selecting evidence that confirms his opinion, while ignoring the other evidence that doesn’t fit with his theory? He actually did just that with the case, he’s taken the risk to put a couple in mortal danger because he didn’t take the situation seriously: he’s been focusing on the indications that one of the hostage may be involved, but neglecting that a man had already been killed. And there were no consequences for him, therefore we can be sure he will do it again. Does that also mean he’s doing the same thing about Lorelei’s disappearance, by focusing on the FBI? Will he endanger someone else because he’ll be underestimating the risks once more? On another hand, the second “cherry” that appears in a title may also allude to the questions that were dropped by Charlotte in ‘Devil’s Cherry’, about his motivations and the infutility of chasing RJ. Here, Jane metaphorically picks the cherry up by choosing his answer to his imaginary daughter’s query: he picks up the game and chooses to continue hunting RJ.

Reviewbrain: I think the title refers to how the victim was chosen to compel the ransom, as well as Jane picking the right man out of the many who transported inmates from the prison. But your theory that the title might refer to information Jane is choosing to believe fits something I thought of the other day upon reading comments to my Red Dawn Review. I had shared my crazy, crazy, theory that Minelli might be Red John. Thankfully most of you (mock glares at Windsparrow) disagreed but another thought then crossed my mind. Red John told Jane he had a friend in the FBI. Jane saw it as a double bluff, not that RJ was lying to mislead him as Lisbon thought. Now RJ probably does have a friend in the FBI but why would he share that with Jane? Jane had said because he would have found out eventually. I agree, but I don’t think that’s why RJ told Jane. Rather, I think RJ shared this information as a mislead; to hide the fact that he has a friend in the CBI. Now both CBI Ron and CBI Karl have been making more regular appearances. Is it really just for the sake of realism (which I appreciate very much) or could it simply be a coincidence? We’ll see.

Once again thank you so much Violet for your help! Please don’t forget to rate the review to show your appreciation of her :)

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain November 2012. Not to be used without permission.

 

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Mentalist Blood Feud Review


Synopsis

When CBI Agent Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) is arrested, he has to explain himself to Professional Standard’s head Special Agent J.J. LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) to prove he is innocent of a crime viewers gradually become privy to through flashbacks. It all starts when Rigsby’s convicted dad, Steven Rigsby (William Forsythe) was found injured at a crime scene in Carson springs, where a young man with ties to the town’s major drug family was killed.

Concise Verdict

Pruitt Taylor Vince is back! PTV is back!!! CREEPY BUT FLUFFY LAROCHE IS BACK!!! Woohoo! My undying love for the character (and the actor) has been well documented, (time and time again) so I know viewers will forgive my flailing here. This was a fabulous episode made even more so by bringing back a couple of this show’s fabulous guest stars. By the way, I think it’s safe to say that writer Jordan Harper has become the new Ashley Gable of this show. He tends to focus on Lisbon and Rigsby. He knows them inside out. He puts them in challenging situations. And he enjoys making viewers cry. Also, continuity, people! Continuity and foreshadowing! Top it off with great acting, beautiful music, and a clever script, and you’ve got a winner. 10/10.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (Spoilers Galore)

Before I get into the review, I’d like to recap some very important observations Violet made about Rigsby Sr. in her guest review of “Like a Red-Headed Stepchild”:

Is that me or Steve also reminds a little of Jane himself? A few hints seem to draw an analogy between them: in VIS #1, he affirms he can get the killer in ten minutes (that’s so Jane-ish!) and he’s sprawled on a couch. He’s a cold manipulative jerk. He slyly plays on Rigsby’s feelings, calling him “son”, never by his given name, even when he insults or threatens him. And what is more revealing, Wayne’s attitude towards them is comparable: he never tried to set the record with Jane’s sometimes mean tricks, nor does he with his father. He lied for them and let them get away with it even when he knows that he’s been had. And that’s where we can see Grace’s influence, because he decides to react after this last manipulation.

Fans will remember that Rigsby’s reaction was to finally face his father. The two come to blows, and Rigsby took his father down, but never delivered the final punch. The fight allowed the two to part on better terms then they had met. Steven’s parting words, “See you around, son” were perhaps the one time he used the familial term without an ulterior motive; he used the term sincerely. Genuinely.

Now in this review, I’ll be elaborating on Violet’s insightful comparison of Jane to Steven, as well as her contrasting of Rigsby to both his father, and to Jane. This will be done where relevant and as the topic presents itself.

VIS #1 Teaser

I knew I would love this episode before the opening credits. The set-up was brilliant. First we see, for the first time, Rigsby’s baby (who incidentally, looks very much like his dad). The baby sitter tells Rigsby that his son is “a good boy, like his father.”

-This statement alludes to themes addressed in previous episodes (Bloodsport, Like a Red-Headed Stepchild). Mainly, it recalls Rigsby’s fear that criminal behavior is hereditary and therefore hints that once again he’ll face his criminal father.

Two agents come to arrest Rigsby from his apartment, practically in front of his son. And just in case that wasn’t enough to keep viewers interested, the next scene which takes place at the CBI has J.J. LaRoche in it, greeting a sober Lisbon and Jane, before going in to question Rigsby. J.J. tells Rigsby that “If I don’t like what you have to say, you could walk out of this room charged with murder.” Rigsby then begins his tale, starting with how he got called to a crime scene in Carson sprints, and how his father was found there.

– Talk about a powerful hook! No way anyone changed the channel after that.

VIS #2 Wayne and Lisbon visit Steven in the Hospital

As LaRoche questions Rigsby on the last time he saw his father, we see a montage of Steven being rushed into surgery at a hospital, with Rigsby running alongside of him and sitting down to wait with Lisbon.

-When the team found Steven, his son’s first statement to him was “What did you do, dad?” establishing that he knows his father enough to recognize his propensity to make trouble. But Rigsby’s main concern is still his father’s health. This was nice to see and very in character for the sensitive agent.

Lisbon stands by Rigsby and joins him in asking the doctor about Rigsby senior’s health, before asking if she can ask him some questions. Rigsby then adds “both of us”.

-Lisbon’s support here was lovely to see and builds on the sibling-like relationship her and the younger agent share. But her double take at Wayne when he said “both of us” shows that she doesn’t approve of him being further involved with the case, as becomes clear in a later scene.

Rigsby expresses how worried he is about his father. Steven brushes his son’s concern and questions on what happened with his own inquiry: “So tell me, boy or girl?” Rigsby is surprised that his dad knows he has a child. Senior informs him that his cousin told him Rigsby was expecting a child. Wayne then informs him he has a son named Ben. Steven asks:  “Is this little Ben’s momma over here? She purty,” about Lisbon.

-Now if Steven is any sort of criminal, then he knows Lisbon is a cop. Because, apparently, criminals have a sixth sense which helps them identify officers, as stated by this procedural (and other dramas) on numerous occasions. Therefore, despite how gorgeous Lisbon (Tunney) truly is, Steven here was just distracting Rigsby from asking questions. This is supported by his continued flirting.

Steven tells Lisbon “I gotta tell you, I could not work for a beautiful woman like you. It’s way too distracting. You dating anyone honey?” Lisbon, always the professional recognizes the compliments for what they are, a diversion, and continues questioning Steven over who shot him and the victim. Steven proceeds to take the flirtation to a lewd level before Rigsby steps in, trying to make him realize the seriousness of the situation. Steven replies “I don’t need you or any other government bitch fixing my problems.”

-So not only do we get a bunch of Lisbon love, but it’s done in a way that makes sense character-wise. Fans might recall Steven’s hot girlfriend, Rocket from his last episode. So it’s nice to see what he can be like when he decides to make his move via his flirting with Lisbon. It’s even more intriguing to see how that charm can quickly turn ugly, perhaps displaying Steven’s true colors when he calls both Rigsby and Lisbon government bitches. In this respect, like Violet pointed out, he was very reminiscent of Jane Think the team’s seafood dinner in the pilot: first Jane charms Grace and impresses her with his “magic” trick, then when she annoys him, he turns nasty and insults her by telling her to sleep with Rigsby. More on their similarities later…

Lisbon and Rigsby leave the hospital room. Rigsby is ready to continue working the case but Lisbon refuses. When he says he has to do something she starts to tell him that he can stay at the hospital but gets interrupts by Rigsby who tells her he won’t. Lisbon then tells him “I didn’t give you a choice,” before softening her tone and adding “It’s okay. Go home. See your kid.”

-I do love me some Rigsbon. These two are so awesome together and Harper writes them beautifully.  The last time I remember their brother/sister relationship being alluded to was, again, in Like a Red Headed Stepchild when Rigsby confessed that his father was a person of interest in a case the team was working. But while in that episode Lisbon kept him on the case (provided another team member accompanied him) she refuses to do so here. It makes sense, since this time Steven’s involvement is much more serious. It was awesome seeing Lisbon wear both the boss and friend hats so effectively, even when Rigsby didn’t want her to watch out for him. Her protectiveness will be revisited before the end of the episode, and more in this review as I suspect it will be a major topic this season…

VIS # 3 Jane and Lisbon question Samantha, the victim’s partner

Samantha (Daisy Eagan) tells Lisbon that she and Andy managed to avoid the allure of the gangs growing up, and that as that put them in the minority, they became friends and hence naturally went into business together.

-I may be overreaching here but the fact that the victim and his friend bonded over their plight reminded me of how Lisbon and Rigsby were both abused children and how it’s a possible explanation for the strength of their bond. Not that I imagine they ever talked about it…

Jane asks why Samantha isn’t surprised that the victim was with a criminal (Steven) at the time of his death. She states “family troubles”, and reveals the fact that the victims biological father was an Overton; a member of the gang family that controls half of Carson valley.  She adds that Andy’s mom left his father as soon as she realized what kind of man he was and raised her son completely on her own.

– Because of the many parallels drawn between the victim and Rigsby (good guys with criminal dad’s), I’m guessing this is pretty much how the situation was for Rigsby as well. We know his mother raised him, his dad told him that he gets his law-abiding ways from her.

– Because of the many parallels drawn between the victim and Rigsby (good guys with criminal dad’s), I’m guessing this is pretty much how the situation was for Rigsby as well. We know his mother raised him, his dad told him that he gets his law-abiding ways from her.

When Samantha states that Andy wasn’t close to the Overtones, Jane offers “But he couldn’t escape them either.” Samantha responds “Its family. You know how that is.”

– Yes, yes we do. We’ve seen Lisbon having Jane and her teammates’ backs because she considers them family. And we had Rigsby lying to provide an alibi for his abusive dad in episode Blood Sport. Then there’s Jane. I found his use of the word “escape” very interesting. His family has been dead about a decade and he still hasn’t been able to sever the bond he had with them. This conversation gives more support that the theme of family bonds, and what they cost, will be a major theme. Again, it will be revisited before the episode (and review) is over.

VIS # 4 Rigsby Defends the Team

LaRoche assumes that Lisbon invited Rigsby back on the case after Cho and Jane discovered that he’d disappeared from the hospital. Here, Rigsby adamantly says: “No, she didn’t invite me. She was reluctant, but I was insistent and she warned me to be very careful. I want that clear.” When LaRoche asks why Cho didn’t accompany Rigsby to the bar where his father was meeting his girlfriend, Wayne starts to say “We,” but quickly amends his statement to “I thought it was more likely that he would come quietly if I was alone.”

-Love how worried Rigsby was that his friends would get in trouble over his actions. Very in character. Also, I have to say that when the episode switched back to this scene in particular, I had been so into the plot that I completely forgot about Rigsby being arrested. That’s a good thing because, when not done well, viewers tend to zone out waiting for flashbacks to end. Not the case here.

VIS #5 Rigsby Meets his Dad

The episode switches back in time, to Rigsby going to the diner where his father was meeting his girlfriend. Senior refuses to go back to the hospital and tells Wayne he’s not leaving without a fight, to which Rigsby replies that he’s not fighting his father anymore and sits down to have a beer with his dad.

-We got another allusion to the last time the two men met. Also, Rigsby seems to have learned a few tricks from Jane. Him sitting down with his dad was a method to bide his time until he could get Steven to talk. This was illustrated by having this scene switching to Jane and Lisbon at this point, before switching back to the Rigsby’s, allowing for passage of time.

After drinking together for a while Rigsby calls out Steven on how he doesn’t know who shot him, because if he did he’d be hunting him down, as per his “code”. Steven then admits that he didn’t see anything; that he was at the scene to help the victim who told him someone threatened to burn his barber shop if he didn’t show up. Rigsby thanks his dad who then asks to see pictures of his grandson. He laughs at the baby pics and asks who the mom is. Rigsby tells him “We’re split up. Team was working a case, I faked my own death, she got mad, it’s complicated.”

-Am I the only one heartbroken at the news that Rigsby and cute and feisty Sarah have broken up? Worse, I’m now worried that this was done, to get Rigsby and Grace back together, only to have one of them killed leaving the other in agony over the death. It’s not total paranoia when you consider the hint the previous episode gave us that a team member will get killed. Or is it?

Steven tells Rigsby to not go too easy on his son, to which Rigsby replies: “No parenting advice, thanks.” His father tells him “What do you got to complain about. I did my job. You’re still here. You’re a man of respect. You walk around all over the place with a legit weapon. You got a handsome son. I did a good job.”  When Rigsby concedes the point his dad tells him, “Damn right,” reaching out to his hand, before adding “I could’ve drowned you at birth.”

-I’m hoping Steven here was just joking to offset his sudden burst of tenderness, rather than a revelation that the thought had actually crossed his mind to kill Wayne when he was born. Most likely, he was tacitly trying to show Rigsby that, despite how bad a father he was, he wasn’t that bad. I think Rigsby got the point. He’s forgiven his dad to the extent of allowing him to see his son, albeit reluctantly. Which makes the fact that he died before he was able to do so only more tragic.  Although, Steven’s statement saying that he goes when he decides to go, along with the song lyrics “I’d rather be dead,” hint that Steven simply wasn’t interested in the quiet living that would have kept him alive.

VIS # 5 Rigsby Kills his Dad’s Killer

I want to preface this section by pointing out how keyed up Rigsby was after his dad’s death, and his brief encounter with Jane and Cho at the elevator. Cho had told Rigsby “I know what you wanna do. You can’t do it. You didn’t like growing up with a dad in jail, Ben wouldn’t like it either.” Jane, by just seeing the two men’s stance knows exactly what they are talking about. Was his statement to Rigsby “Better let us handle this,” a genuine reiteration of Cho’s wise advice? Apparently not.

What I found very interesting was Rigsby’s motive for going after his father’s killer. He’d said to Cho:  “If I got shot, he would’ve found the man who pulled the trigger and taken care of it.”

This explains why by the book Rigsby is doing something as out of character as taking the law into his own hands. It might also indicate that Rigsby is not thinking clearly, after all, he is not his father. But grieving people aren’t exactly known for their sound judgment.

Now the way the scene was written, thankfully, needed for Moss to be put down. Rigsby’s use of lethal force was, as LaRoche says later, completely justified. What’s less clear is his presence at the scene in the first place.

VIS #6 Jane, Lisbon, and LaRoche’s Revelation

Jane sits as Lisbon’s desk as she writes up the paperwork on their case, telling her “You’re going to regret this someday,” meaning all the paperwork adding “It’s like cooking a beautiful meal, and then putting it straight in the refrigerator. Forever.”

-A few points here. First, Jane is back to trying to get Lisbon to rebel against the system. Could it be paperwork annoys him cause the more diligent Lisbon is the harder it’ll be to slip stuff through the cracks? Second, Jane’s statement recalls both his own questioning of the reason he’s at his current job, as well as a possibility of Lisbon feeling burned out (as hinted at in the last season). Third, Jane has evolved from keeping Lisbon company while lying on her couch to him being completely in her personal space, sitting on her desk. Not that Lisbon is complaining. I can still hear the J/L shipper’s squealing :). Finally, Jane’s use of the word “regret” reminded me of how Lisbon once called him one of her big regrets (see review for Every Rose Has its Thorn). Alone, this probably means nothing. But together with the theme of family heavily alluded to in this episode, it might be foreshadowing of a possible plot line in which Lisbon starts regretting ever bringing Jane into the fold of those she considers family. Should the writers choose to go there, it’s been very cleverly set up in this scene. How? Read on…

La Roche enters Lisbon’s office. She asks him what his report on Rigsby will say. I’m going to analyze the rest of the scene line by line as the dialogue was very crucial was it. Also, absolutely, utterly, devastatingly, perfect:

LaRoche: It will say that agent Rigsby acted appropriately and with sound judgment when he used lethal force against moss. (to Jane). Good work. You got away with it.

Jane: Me?

LaRoche: Well I can’t make a case, but you chose a remote location for the meeting, you set up a situation where Moss had to flee. And there, by chance, was Rigsby.

Jane: Well, I’m flattered. You flatter me. But I can’t take credit for that.

I love how Jane’s response to LaRoche’s accusations is always being bashfully flattered (Jolly Red Elf). But while it worked the last time, LaRoche has gotten to know him much better now, even if Lisbon (apparently) still hasn’t…

Lisbon: Moss didn’t have to run. I would’ve brought him in.

Lisbon has a point, but LaRoche’s rebuttal was much more effective:

LaRoche: The plan did require moss to put his own head in the noose. Small gamble, Jane had to make to keep everyone’s hands clean.

Poor Lisbon still refuses to acknowledge Jane’s evil genius:

Lisbon: Moss fired his gun.

It’s true that Moss didn’t have to fire his gun and escape, but it was natural considering that he had the heads of two separate mobs threatening him.

LaRoche: So you all say, course, Moss can’t tell his version. And now, Rigsby has taken perfectly legal revenge against the man who killed his father. Do you think it will affect him?

Now, up until this point Jane had deniability on his side. But LaRoche is smarter than your average bear. His question on whether Jane thinks Rigsby will be affected by revenge finally gets a response. But before we get into it, I just want to mention that by this point, Lisbon is gazing intently with a very hard to read expression at Jane. It seems like she’s either she’s trying to warn him from saying anything, or she’s trying to read his reaction, to see the effect LaRoche’s words are having on him; if his face reveals that they are true. If she had been in the dark about Jane’s actions, then Jane’s answer to LaRoche probably brought her to light:

Jane: Well I think it’s better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do.

I found Jane’s response to LaRoche to be very revealing, not only as a tacit admission of guilt. Jane, for all his mentalist abilities constantly forgets that not all people are like him. For example, I concede that he probably did what he did out of a genuine interest to help Rigsby out. But he’s forgetting that he and Rigsby are practically opposites, despite the fact that they were both raised by bad fathers. While revenge might work for Jane it might not necessarily work for Rigsby. Jane’s presumptuous interference, applying his motto, his religion to those around him without considering if it’s a right fit is one of the traits that annoys me the most about him. It’s a clear result of his ego, his belief that he knows best.  But what I’d love to see is for his “help” to backfire one day. Not just because I’m evil, but because the potential for character growth and introspection there is enough to make me drool. Hopefully, LaRoche’s words here are enough to get Jane thinking on his own without another tragedy forcing him to…

LaRoche: Perhaps. I suppose Rigsby will never know.

I love how J.J. here called Jane on his manipulating the situation. The subtext includes Jane’s manipulation of Rigsby’s pain to get the younger Rigsby to do something that he might have not done if he were in a calm state.

LaRoche: Agent Lisbon my report will reflect you made a mistake in calling agent Rigsby to the scene. An error in judgment.

Lisbon: Yes sir, it was.

As her MO, Lisbon is all too happy to take responsibility for Jane’s actions. And just in case I dropped the ball and didn’t realize that Jane was the one who called Rigsby…

Jane: Lisbon didn’t call Rigsby, I did.

…Jane helpfully tells us, following his MO of trying to protect Lisbon.

Lisbon: Jane!

LaRoche: Of course you did.

LaRoche is no dummy. He probably knew perfectly well that Jane called Rigsby and Lisbon is just protecting him by claiming she did. I see his refusal to acknowledge this truth is his way of succumbing to her wishes to protect her team. I’m just not sure why. Perhaps, like Hightower before him, he hopes Jane will behave better if he realizes that Lisbon will be held responsible for his actions.

Unless…unless…it really was *Lisbon* who called Rigsby? She’d told him that she’d let him know if they got a break in the case, so maybe she did? But even if that were true, no way she would have told Rigsby where the meeting was going to be. Jane probably did that, which is why he was so ready to take the blame.

LaRoche: Agent Lisbon, your instincts to protect your team are admirable, and your biggest flaw.

We have it in canon that this guy loves Lisbon (who doesn’t?). He got upset when she insulted him (Bloodstream) and he gave her a hug (Scarlett Ribbons). His statement her truly seemed like he was trying to look after her, protect her from herself. I find his behavior admirable, and not just because it annoyed Jane…

Jane: Yes, well we all have our flaws. Don’t we agent LaRoche?

Jane’s statement here is a not so subtle reminder to LaRoche that he knows a horrible secret LaRoche has (Strawberries and Cream) and his way of telling LaRoche his advice is not wanted. Jane does not want anyone influencing Lisbon and/or his relationship with her. It makes me wonder how he’d react if she ever gets a boyfriend.

Best Scenes

This was so hard to decide. Readers, please let me know what were your fav’s. There were so many good ones!

The winner: Jane, Lisbon, and LaRoche’s Revelation

First runner up: Rigsby and Ben, end scene.

Second Runner up: Rigsby, Steven and Lisbon at the hospital

Best Lines

“I’ll be back here”. Love self preservationist Jane. Always takes off when there’s danger (*cough*, unless Lisbon is involved, *cough*)

“Is this little Ben’s momma over here? She, purty.” What can I say, the guy’s got taste :)

“I gotta tell you, I could not work for a beautiful woman like you. It’s way too distracting. You dating anyone honey?” Seriously, I think my heart blew up at all the Lisbon love XD

“I didn’t give you a choice. It’s okay, go home. See your kid.” –Lisbon rocks.

“Yeah, well I ain’t fighting you anymore.”

Icings on the Cake

Jane trying to give Beltran a slap, the man refusing, and Lisbon’s “what the hell are you doing” face. By the way, the moment wasn’t in the script. Writer Jordan Harper on twitter said it was created by Simon Baker .

“Damn, you can never trust a woman.”-Steven, to Rigsby, about Rocket revealing his location.

“Not off to the greatest of starts”-Jane to the rivaling gang leaders, when they pull their guns on each other.

The entire end scene.

Honorable Mentions

Composer Blake Neely. There were many great tunes in this one but my favorite was the one which sneaked into LaRoche’s scene with Jane and Lisbon at the end. It provided a lot of subtext to the scene…

Owain Yeoman was truly wonderful in this episode. From the little hitch in his voice when he introduced Lisbon to his dad, to revealing how worried he was about him, then slyly getting him to reveal what happened; he pulled off all the facets of Rigsby’s character effortlessly. Finally, that heartbreaking scene at the end: crying as he held his son, taking comfort from the baby as he told him it was beautifully sad.

Pruitt Taylor Vince. The man is a rock star who rocks all his rocking character’s rocking scenes especially the ones where he’s rocking the truth about Jane in front of Lisbon.

Writer Jordan Harper. The case was very clever, the character interaction great, and the dialogue had many many layers. Truly excellent writing.

Director Anton Cropper did a great job keeping the story coherent. The hospital montage at the beginning and the chase were especially well done.

Pet Peeves

We never did find out how Steven knew the victim. Since Huff was a barber, I assume he was Steven’s barber. But it would’ve been nice if Rigsby’s dad had said something like: “Kid was my barber, asked me to help him out,” just to clarify Steven’s involvement further.

I feel terrible saying this, but Forsythe (whom I have great respect for as an actor) really grates on me as Steven’s dad. I don’t know what it is about his performance but there were a few instances that just made me cringe.

Conclusion

Like LaRoche, I question whether Rigsby will be unaffected by the fact that he killed a person. His “It’s okay” at the end of the episode to his son could have been said to reassure himself that he’ll get over his dad’s death. He could also been telling himself that he’ll be fine after he killed a man. Now Moss was a heartless criminal who killed an innocent man to start a mob war. And Rigsby killed him in pure self-defense. He is (almost) entirely blameless. But Wayne is undoubtedly the most tender-hearted of all the CBI team. The only reason he wanted revenge is because it’s what his dad would have done for him (based on what Rigsby told Cho). But Rigsby is very different from both his father and Jane. If Rigsby only killed Moss because he felt obliged to do so (for his father), as opposed to wanting to, then he might have a harder time dealing with the aftermath. We saw Grace’s PTSD last season after she killed Craig in self-defense. Will this season be about Rigsby getting over his own shoot out?

I don’t know. But if Jane’s actions do cause ramifications for Rigsby, then that raises a heck of a lot of possibilities. Violet elaborated how Rigsby managed to finally face his father when he fought him in Like a Red-Headed Stepchild. If Rigsby ever find out about how far Jane went to set the stage for his revenge, would he be thankful or resentful? Would he have a face-off with him too? I can only see that happening if Jane’s actions got one of the other team members (Grace?) hurt.

A more probable possibility comes to mind. This is where my theory of a possible plot in which Lisbon might regret bringing Jane into her CBI family comes into play. The victim in this episode couldn’t escape from his family any more than Rigsby could his dad. But there’s the family that we choose as opposed to the one we’re born with. The CBI is a family by choice. They look out for each other because they want to, not because they have to. La Roche tells Lisbon that her biggest flaw is protecting her team. I say, so far, the choices she’s had to make were arguably easy: Mother Teresa will always protect her children from outside influences. But until this point, she’d never had to protect them from each other; from Jane. Lisbon’s replies to LaRoche, denying Jane’s manipulation make it seem to me that she might not have known Jane was going to call Rigsby. One could argue it wouldn’t matter to her if he did, so ingrained is her instinct to defend him. But what about now, after LaRoche raised the possible emotional harm Jane’s interference might have on Rigsby?

I had hoped that LaRoche’s statements might serve to give Jane cause for thought. I’m going to hope they affect Lisbon too; that she take the rest of her team in consideration the next time Jane plots one of his schemes.

Realistically, though, I suspect she’ll continue with her “hand’s off” MO until Jane’s actions have real, far-reaching negative consequences. This is why the prospect that Jane might have inadvertently harmed Rigsby, Lisbon’s surrogate baby brother, is one that I find especially delicious. And now that I’ve probably depressed readers, here’s something to cheer you guys up…

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain October, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.


Mentalist Not One Red Cent Review


Synopsis

CBI consultant Jane (Baker) visits a cobbler in North Sacramento to get his shoes resoled. While he waits a bank nearby gets robbed and the assistant manager gets shot in process. FBI Agent Mancini (Ivan Sergei) once again butts heads with Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) when he claims jurisdiction of the case, getting Director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston) involved.

Concise Verdict

Like the other episodes this season, Not One Red Cent sports a distinct classic Mentalist vibe, via mentalist tricks Jane uses to impress and bemuse his younger colleagues; namely Grace. Music, direction, and casting were also very good and served this episode. 8/10

Detailed Review

I think I’m burned out cause I couldn’t really think of much to say about this one. It was a nice one shot episode, but didn’t really have a lot to add in terms of overall characterization (besides plenty of continuity, which is always welcome). Could it be the writers decided to cut me some slack? Obviously, cause that’s their highest priority when they come up with their scripts. There was, however, one issue that demands immediate attention…

Lisbon/Mancini

Mancini tells Lisbon that he suspects she doesn’t like him. She calls him out on his childishness then adds, incredulously, that he shouldn’t be surprised since he lost Loralie Martins, there most important witness in the Red John case. The FBI agent insists that it wasn’t his fault then states that when “people” (subtext here screamed “women”) pretend they don’t like him, “it’s usually because they do.” Lisbon flat out tells him that she doesn’t, but is nonetheless intrigued when he invites her to a law enforcement poker game. Lisbon agrees and when she later meets him at the bar where the game is held, he introduces her to some very prominent people. Amongst the players is Director Bertram who is surprised that Lisbon is into gambling. Lisbon confidently replies “it’s not gambling if you know you’ll win.”

I adored this scene. Mostly for its possibilities.

-I so hope that Jane has no idea Lisbon is a good poker player. After all, in episode, Red-Handed, Lisbon didn’t say a single word as Jane explained how he keeps winning to the rest of the team, she even got up and left in the middle of it. At the time I assumed it was because she’d hear it all before. But what if it’s because she’s already so good at poker? That would be awesome.

Fun trivia, Ms. Tunney is in fact an excellent poker player and even participated in some tournaments. Don’t ask me for the source, I read this a long time ago.

-Now for some reason every time Mancini calls Lisbon “Teresa” I feel like punching him in the nose. Maybe it’s my suspicion that he might have been brought on as some sort of a romantic interest for Lisbon. If that’s true, I so hope he doesn’t turn out to be a genuine cop and not an RJ mole, as is hinted by the fact that he knows she plays poker. Has he been spying on her or is it a well known hobby of hers? Bertram didn’t know…too high up on the food chain? Seriously, really hope Mancini isn’t an RJ spy. Cause, well, been there, done that with Craig O Laughlin.

Conversely, if he is a legit cop, I’d love to see how a relationship with Lisbon might pan out. Ivan Sergei is a great actor and I’d love to see how (if?) he and Jane would deal with him dating Lisbon.

For now, the most pressing question seems to me…


For the record, I added that last answer on a whim :p

Best Quotes

“Oh, I like it when you get all authoritarian on me.“- Jane, to Lisbon.

“Yes, that time of the year I have to get my shoes resoled.”- Love the continuity on Jane’s god awful shoes.

“We’re very sorry for your loss.” Lisbon, to victim’s grandmother in the funeral after Jane states he had been in on the robbery.

“You really want me to tell you, you’re going to ruin the surprise.” Jane, to Lisbon.

“I don’t like surprises.”-Lisbon, in reply to the above.

“You know the type. They date down so that they have all the power in the relationship.” -I wonder if Jane was hinting here that Lisbon is a power dater. I doubt it though.

“High class crowd. I wish you would’ve warned me.”- Lisbon to Mancini. I love the implication here that Lisbon would’ve dressed up if she’d known beforehand. It’s not hard to believe consider how she cleaned up for a fundraiser in season two. Happy, happy memory…

“It’s not gambling if you know you’re gonna win.” -Lisbon is awesome. That is all.

“These shoes are actually quite comfortable. They’re growing on me.”-Jane, on his new shoes.

“Not on me.” Lisbon, in reply to the above. Looks like viewer’s aren’t the only ones who’ve gotten used to Jane’s shoes..

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain October 2012. Not to be used without permission.

 

Honorable Mentions

Team women really scored this time around…

Tunney was in top form in this episode. Her drawl, her facial expressions, gestures; she stole every single scene she was in.

Righetti was once again charming as feisty Grace still not knowing better than to bet against Jane. Loved how her sweet smile to Jane at the end contrasted completely with what could only have been an obscene note.

Guest star Katie Walder was very convincing as Nancy, the victim’s fiancée and killer.

I’m beyond delighted with Righetti and Tunney’s styling. Hair, makeup and outfits are naturally gorgeous, flattering, yet character appropriate. Kudos to whomever is in charge. I’d never have guessed Rightetti was pregnant if I hadn’t already known it.

Icings on the Cake

CBI Karl is back! Seeing him is always a treat.

It’s nice to see Jane so focused on his work. Ties into the fact that maybe catching bad guys is really why he’s at CBI.

Really like Jane’s description of the perp as a power-dater, and how he found her out.

Pet Peeves

Considering how much Jane loves his godawful brown shoes, I would have thought he’d be more annoyed or broken up over the fact that he can’t wear them till the cobbler gets over the trauma of almost getting shot. It was weird seeing that Lisbon cared more about it than he did. Although, considering how ugly his temp shoes were, I can’t really blame her. Maybe Jane has an ugly shoes fetish?

I immediately pegged the victim as having been in on the bank robbery and was therefore surprised it took Jane a bit long to figure it out too.

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.


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